Mind & Body

Pri­or­i­tize your health and fit­ness with these ef­fec­tive strate­gies.

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Pri­or­i­tize your health and fit­ness with these ef­fec­tive strate­gies.

f find­ing the time to main­tain your fit-girl life­style is a chal­lenge, you’re not alone. Af­ter tend­ing to fam­i­lies that need you, ca­reers and classes that are call­ing, and so much more, what hap­pens when you feel like there’s not a mo­ment left for train­ing, food prep­ping or even get­ting enough sleep? Read on for ad­vice to help pri­or­i­tize the fit stuff in your day-to-day rou­tine.

Tackle Your Mind

Colleen Long, Psy.D., weight-loss psy­chol­o­gist and au­thor of The

Psy­chol­ogy of Fi­nally Be­ing Full From Within (CreateS­pace, 2017), says that the first step is to un­der­stand why health and fit­ness is a pri­or­ity for you. “Of­ten­times, we say some­thing is a pri­or­ity but aren’t re­ally solid as to all the ‘why’s,’” Long says. “Take a mo­ment to jot down in your phone’s Notes sec­tion all the rea­sons you should make this a pri­or­ity.” Some ex­am­ples might be to be a pos­i­tive role model for your kids or to feel bet­ter about your body.

Ma­mas es­pe­cially fall prey to think­ing that they don’t have enough hours in the day for “me” time at the gym. Many al­ready feel guilty if they work out­side the home, and adding in that time to ex­er­cise makes the feel­ing even worse.

“You have to re­frame how you see this,” Long says. “This ex­er­cise is the oxy­gen mask you need to be a bet­ter par­ent, a bet­ter part­ner, to have more en­ergy to keep up with your kids, and to re­spond ver­sus re­act to them.”

And even if you aren’t a mom, the pres­sure of ev­ery­thing else — a de­mand­ing job, school, fam­ily obli­ga­tions — can still be an ob­sta­cle to mak­ing time each day for your health. If you’re clear men­tally about why hit­ting the gym or tak­ing the time to prep meals is an im­por­tant part of the life you want, you’ll make strides.

Car­ry­ing Through

What are some ac­tion­able tricks for mak­ing sure fit habits come out on top?

So­hee Lee, CSCS, CISSN, MS(c), who is busy run­ning her full­time busi­ness, So­hee Fit, and work­ing to­ward her mas­ter’s de­gree in the psy­chol­ogy of eat­ing be­hav­ior, rec­om­mends that rather than try­ing to keep up with the lat­est fad or copy­ing your fa­vorite fit­ness celebrity, pay at­ten­tion to what makes you feel your best.

“Dif­fer­ent peo­ple have dif­fer­ent food pref­er­ences as well as unique di­et­ing strate­gies that work best for them,” Lee ex­plains. “What I al­ways say is ‘like the way you eat, like the way you ex­er­cise.’”

Mul­ti­ple stud­ies have shown that ad­her­ence to a diet and train­ing regime is more im­por­tant for long-term suc­cess than any spe­cific plan. This means that find­ing a rou­tine you can main­tain eas­ily and ef­fec­tively will make it eas­ier to pri­or­i­tize.

Moral of the story: By tack­ling your mind and your daily habits, “fit girl” will be part of your DNA be­fore you know it.

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