Many people struggle to find enough time to stay healthy while juggling the demands of modern life. It is particularly difficult for someone who is often on the road, going from appointment to appointment.
With 66% of men and 57% of women being classed as overweight or obese and 74% of people having felt ‘overwhelmed or unable to cope’ at some point during the year, it is increasingly important that we look after both our physical and mental health.
Here, electrical wholesaler TradeSparky offers its top tips for managing your diet and stress levels on the go.
Lunch to go
One of the best ways to make improvements to your diet is to stop grabbing processed foods on the go, and preparing lunches and snacks at home from scratch instead. The two main barriers to achieving this are:
- the time it takes to prep food on a daily basis
- finding nice, healthy meals that don’t require a hob or microwave
Try preparing meals in bulk – things that will last a couple of days or can be frozen. It can be difficult to think of lunches that don’t require heating (sandwich, salad…yawn!) but with a little bit of research online, you can gather enough recipes for lunches that you will happily eat on a weekly basis.
One other factor to consider is portion control. This is probably the main reason why most diets fail. Even if ‘good’ foods are being consumed, if too much is being eaten, you will still put on weight.
By making your own meals, it is possible to measure exactly how much food is going in and how much each meal is contributing to your daily intake. Free smartphone apps such as ‘My Fitness Pal’ can really help with this. On the odd day when lunch is grabbed on the fly, the barcode can be scanned and all the relevant nutritional information will be added.
At a stretch
Exercise is good for both our physical and mental health and the secret to incorporating it into a busy schedule is (drum roll)… getting it out of the way early. Yes, it is horrendous dragging yourself out of bed that bit earlier, but once it’s done, the endorphins are flowing and you are ready for the day ahead.
It doesn’t even have to take a long time, either. There are plenty of 20-minute high-intensity training (HIT) routines online that can be done at home while Piers Morgan rants away on the telly. There are even free phone apps such as ‘Seconds’ that will help time your intervals.
If you really aren’t a morning person and the only thing you want to do after a long days’ work is flop on the coach, then try and incorporate something into your daily routine. If you have an appointment where little equipment is required, allow enough time to park the van 10 minutes away from the location and walk. It may not seem like very much, but it all adds up over time.
Having enough ‘quality’ sleep will help improve performance and decrease stress levels while on the job. Of course both diet and exercise contribute to the quality of your sleep, but allowing the time for enough ZZZs is also important.
The average adult needs between seven and nine hours of sleep a night to function properly. The benefits of doing so include improvement in mood, maintaining a healthy weight and a sharpening of concentration.
However, allocating enough time during the night for bed isn’t enough, especially if you are going to spend most of the time tossing and turning. Best practices to maximise the chances of a good night’s sleep include going to bed and waking up at a set time, establishing a relaxing routine leading up to bed and ideally avoiding eating after 7pm. The latter will help with both weight loss and your ability to sleep.
And we’re not talking about alcohol! The average adult should drink about two litres of water a day. Keeping hydrated will not only help you stay alert during appointments, but it will also help with weight loss as water can boost metabolism by up to 30% and stop food cravings.
But drinking the required amount is harder than you might think. To help, water intake can be tracked in the My Fitness Pal app, but there are also apps specifically designed to monitor water consumption, such as Daily Water, and will alert you when you need to take a drink. Just keep a water bottle with you throughout the day. No customer will resent you topping up at their home or office.