Fitness and Self-Care: It’s a Balancing Act

Self-care a favorite buzzword these days, and there’s a reason why. Being healthy is more than just eating right and working out. Those are components of it, but being a well-balanced human also means occasionally putting yourself first. Here are tips for improving your self-care when you have too much to do and too little time to do it in.

First, realize that you can’t pour from an empty pitcher. That bit of wisdom means that you cannot care for others if you’re burned out. No matter how important or pressing the matter or person demanding your attention, you can’t help if you have no energy. The main point of self-care is making sure that you’re healthy and happy so you can help keep others that way too. If you’re not taking care of your health, you won’t have enough energy to get through the ups and downs of life.

So, how do you increase your energy? By eating nutritious food, getting plenty of sleep and moving your body on a regular basis. If exercise to you means that you must run on the treadmill for hours, have no fear – there are many ways you can reap the benefits of movement that don’t involve a treadmill. You just have to think outside the box and get creative. Fortunately, there are many fun, inexpensive ways to get exercise that will give you the energy to keep up with whatever you need to keep up with. For example, have you ever tried a Goat Yoga class? Yes, you read that right: you can work out with an adorable, non-judgmental, trained goat that will not only keep you motivated and in shape, but smiling through your whole workout!

No matter which activity you choose, the most important thing is making exercise a habit so that you do it without thinking. Plan it into your day and week so that it becomes part of your regular routine. Think about ways to put movement into your day. For instance, you’ll get in some extra walking time if you park farther away at work or while running errands. If you work at a desk, get up and walk around frequently, and take the stairs instead of the elevator. Get a headset so that you can stand or walk around when making phone calls, and get out of the building to have lunch. Anything you do to add movement to your day will make for a more energetic and engaging day, as well as more exercise for you.

Think you’re too busy to exercise? Think again! If you have little ones, you’re running around all day anyway. Add in a few lunges and strength moves. Play with them in the park rather than sitting and watching. Dance with them. Put on music while you’re cleaning the house and move forcefully. Not only will cleaning be more fun, you’ll burn more calories, too. If your kids are older, get them to help or do the cleaning themselves so you can exercise while they do chores.

If you’re not the caretaker of small children but instead have an outside-the-home job that keeps you busy, fitting in exercise is a different sort of puzzle. If your schedule allows little free time, you’ll have to get creative on finding ways to fit exercise into your day. Consider incorporating movement into your commute, request “walking” meetings with colleagues vs. those seated in a boardroom, and get up and move when talking on the phone. For other tips on fitting exercise into an already-hectic schedule, check out this guide.

Remember that the most important thing is not how you exercise, but exercising in the first place, so any movement counts. If you like to run, do it. If you don’t, find something else. Join a Goat Yoga class and have fun making new human and four-legged friends. As long as you can move, you can exercise and get your heart pumping faster. Your heart, body, and mind will thank you with a more positive disposition. And that makes everyone feel better.