Thursday, 14 November 2019

Are we too rushed for time to stay healthy?

Time is money. But more importantly, time is precious, and it runs away from you more rapidly than you can hold it.
Everything in your life is calibrated carefully to account for the ephemerality of time. 
Indeed, most professionals in the UK admit to working long hours. On average, the week counts 45 to
48 hours for most employees, while some senior roles can accumulate over 10 hours of overtime in a week.
Needless to say, if you count commuting time on top, the working week occupies the major part of your waking
hours. Combined with tight deadlines – who doesn’t have them? – , rushed social commitments, and the abundance
of digitalised activities, it seems that there’s little time left to care about your health. It’s not that you don’t want to keep
healthy; you don’t have the time to care about it. Or do you? Can you make your health needs fit in your fast-paced
lifestyle? The answer is yes, but you need to be ready to build new habits. 

No time to cook? Think again
How long do you spend preparing meals in your kitchen? The truth is that the majority of British households
relies heavily on processed foods and takeaways meals during the week. The advantage of meals that are
already made or ingredients that have been treated for convenience is that, when time is short, you can make
the most of it. After all, you claim, it’s not that you don’t enjoy cooking. You don’t have the time. However, before
you head to the shop to pile a few boxes of processed meals in your trolleys, you might want to consider the health
costs. Indeed, according to several studies conducted about ultra-processed food consumption, there is a clear link
between processed meals and early death. What can of ingredients are labelled “ultra-processed”, you ask. Anything
from your lunch box favourites – crisps, soft drinks – to your evening’s ready meals contain additives and modified
oils that are harmful to your health. 

When was the last time you managed for your kitchen? 
The real question you want to ask yourself is: how can you make cooking easier? Relying on processed meals
is not an option. But that doesn’t mean you should feel trapped in the kitchen if you want to eat healthy meals.
You need to get your head around some of the basics such as seasoning your food and making sauces –
the days of the old bottle of ketchup are now officially gone. Take a look at some of Jamie Oliver’s early
programmes, such as his 15 minutes recipes. Yes, you can design a balanced meal in a matter of minutes.
More importantly, the time you spend in the kitchen today is going to expand your lifetime in the long term.
Undoubtedly, your health is worth a few minutes to prep your meals? 

I don’t have time to see a doctor
What happens when you get sick? The preferred approach for countless British employees is to try to manage through
the illness on their own. Using off-the-counter medications and the results of their Google search, they hope to save time
on their recovery. In reality, the opposite result is more frequent. Unless you’re a trained doctor, you’re unlikely to manage
health issues adequately. So why do so many people continue to guess their way to recovery? The answer is a brutal
reality check: they don’t have time to make an appointment with their GP. That’s precisely why more and more online
appointment services exist to ensure that you can still receive a rapid answer to your problems. It’s not to say that having
your GP on a video conference is a guarantee of health – sometimes, you need a face-to-face examination – but a digital
doctor can help you find the best path to recovery. 

Don’t skip your essential meds
If you follow a medicated treatment, you know you can’t leave your prescription unrenewed. You need to keep track of
your meds, and more importantly, when you need to schedule your medical appointments to renew the prescription.
Unfortunately, it can be tricky to make time for a trip to the pharmacy when you’re working long hours. However, you
can make the most of the online pharmacy services that are designed especially for NHS repeat prescriptions. In a
nutshell, you can get your medication sent to your home address or your workplace without worrying about taking
time off to renew the prescription. Admittedly, it doesn’t replace regular checkups, but for long-term treatments
and complaints, it can make your health easier to manage.  

When you can’t make it to the gym
Everybody knows and understands the importance of physical activities. Exercising is a lot more than a matter of
vanity. When you work out, you also help your body to stay strong and fit, which ultimately is the key to a long and
happy life. According to the Institute of Lifestyle Medicine, while exercising is crucial, it doesn’t mean you should
hit the gym every day to notice improvements. In fact, something as simple as 30 minutes of interval training a week
can significantly reduce the risk of diabetes 2. When you think about it, you can achieve simple fitness goals in your
everyday life. Someone who uses public transport can use an earlier stop to walk more during the week and
alleviate symptoms of depression, for instance. The lesson here is that fitness comes in different shapes;
therefore, you can make it fit in your busy schedule. 

You don’t need to shorten your nights
Are you guilty of going to bed late and setting an early alarm clock? There’s so much you need to do, you can’t
afford to stay in bed for long! However, your body needs to rest to maintain its functions. You can’t stay healthy
on short nights and coffee. Chances are that your immune system will collapse in the long term. Unfortunately,
making time for sleeping can be challenging, especially if you find yourself accidentally procrastinating through
the day. Indeed, you may be wasting a lot of time without even noticing it. Failing to plan, for instance, can affect
your time management, which means that you’re forced to stay up to finish things. Catching up with your friends
online is essential, but you can’t afford to let social media take over your life. In other words, taking back control of
your days can free up more time to sleep and rest at night. 

Stop pushing yourself to work longer hours
Do you sometimes find your mind wandering when you’re in the middle of an important task? You’re desperately
trying to finish a time-demanding project, but you notice that your mind is getting slow and your ideas are lacking
creativity. While it might be tempting to push through, in reality, you need to take a step back. Taking
regular breaks can help you to stay focused and recharge your energy. More importantly, when you
refuse yourself a break, you are likely to end up being less productive. Indeed, breaks support creativity,
productivity and performance. In short, the more you force yourself to work throughout the day, the more likely
you are to need longer hours and run out of time to take care of your health. Additionally, dedicated extended period
to one single task without a pause increases your stress levels, which, in return, affect your immune system. For the sake
of your health, take a break. 

Time is of the essence when it comes to your health. Taking the time to be healthy is not a luxury, but an essential routine
you need to schedule in your day-to-day tasks. From time-saving tips that keep you on your toes to taking back control of
your time, there’s a lot you can do to bring back your health at the top of your priorities. 

This is a collaborative post.

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