I start each morning with the best of intentions, but some days a girl needs a little help taking care of herself when work, family, and personal needs are pulling her in all directions.
Am I right?
With all of the balls that I juggle being a wife, mom, business owner and writer, some days it takes a small miracle to make time for a workout or cooking a nourishing meal. As an entrepreneur, my “workplace wellness” activities might be happening anywhere from my home office to a coffee shop, so I have to be creative with the wellness activities I choose.
Any way that I can automate or guarantee getting more movement and better nutrition into my day is a win in my book.
I rely on a couple of helpful tools to encourage more wellness throughout my day, and I figured if these tools help me, why not share them with you as well?
Here’s a handy list of 7 wellness activities that you can make a part of your routine today.
1 | Podcasts for Learning on the Move
This is my best kept secret to being productive professionally while exercising at the same time. I rarely listen to music when I go running or hiking, instead I prefer to listen to a podcast that will help me improve my writing business, massage practice, or personal wellness in some way.
When I plan to multitask by getting professional development in during my workout, it makes me less likely to cancel my workout even if I feel overwhelmed by my work.
You can put your own spin on learning on the move--for example, I know medical students who listen to pathology podcasts while trail running, and my favorite kinesiology author listens to ebooks while walking to her excercise studio each morning.
2 | MapMyRun for Exercise Tracking and Challenges
As a runner and walker I enjoy mapping out my routes ahead of time and knowing how many miles I’ll be covering, and this site is great for that! You can use the site--or their app--to map distances on roads or trails. You can also save your routes to view again later, and browse the routes used by other runners and walkers in your area when you’re looking for inspiration for a new place to explore.
If walking breaks are a part of your workplace wellness plan, MapMyRun can be a great tool for tracking your walks and inviting colleagues to join you.
One of my favorite features on the site are the challenges--they add new challenges you can join all the time and some of them feature prizes and other swag for participating!
You can also sync up the app with your Garmin or other tracking device to make recording your times and distances even easier.
3 | Purchase a CSA Share to Eat Healthy and Local
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) gives consumers access to high-quality, local produce directly from regional farmers. You purchase a “share” in a CSA at the beginning of the season and then pick up a box of produce each week (or every other week) to use when cooking your healthy meals at home.
This helps me to automate my family’s healthy eating because my CSA hands me a box of produce all ready to go! I can’t just buy a pizza and let all those good veggies go to waste, so it helps me stay on track with nutritious cooking.
We are lucky that where we live we have access to an incredible CSA even during the winter months. You can check LocalHarvest for a list of CSA farms in your area to find details on joining one.
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4 | iPhone Reminders app for Scheduling in Stretching/Movement Breaks
I use this app to automate my reminders to move my body during my workday. I set a reminder for every hour and half hour throughout my workday, titled “Stand up and Stretch!”
It works like a charm for interrupting me when I’m deep in the middle of writing a piece to remind me to step away from the computer and walk around outside or stretch for a few moments before getting back to work. It’s probably already sitting there on your phone, lonesome and scarcely used, so why not give this app some love?
5 | MyFitnessPal for Food Tracking and Recipes
While I don’t record everything I eat or track my calories per se, MyFitnessPal can still be helpful for figuring out what exactly is in the food that I'm eating. The site lets you search for foods including restaurant meals, and also has a fitness section where you can calculate average calories burned for various types of workouts.
If you’re setting very specific nutrition or exercise goals, MyFitnessPal can help you keep closer track than the pencil and paper you may have been using before.
6 | Pay in Advance for Fitness Classes
I find that when I buy my yoga classes in advance, I’m much more likely to attend than if I pay for each class as I go. The accountability of a limited time to use up a class I’ve paid for somehow gets my butt off the couch real quick, especially when I realize my class package is about to expire if I don’t use it up.
7 | Find a Wellness Partner
I can't help but recommend this natural accountability tool. Find a friend who has similar wellness goals to your own and work on them together!
Whether you set a daily walking date with your neighbor or find a colleague a few cubicles down from you to stretch with every few hours, having someone to remind you of your goals can help tremendously when your motivation is flagging.
Bonus: You’ll have somebody to celebrate with when you achieve those wellness milestones you’re pushing towards!