We all know it’s hard to find enough time in the day for everything. Something always seems to get left off the list when the day is over, despite one’s best efforts to multi-task. For busy mothers, that ignored item is usually something to do with themselves because they put their family’s well-being first. For working girls, the pressure to get ahead often equates to long hours at work and scant time spent on taking care of one’s self. (I’m raising my hand here.)
Chronos Wellness Coach, Jessica Zanca recently sat down with me to share some ideas for how us busy females can pack a few more moments for our personal well-being into our already overflowing schedules. Whether you’re a mom, a working professional or both – taking time to improve yourself pays dividends to all of those around you and especially to yourself. Now, I walk to my terminal at the airport instead of riding the tram; I take the escalator steps two at a time to work my glutes instead of zoning out on the ride up, and yes, you may see me stretching down to touch my toes in between connecting flights. I’m maximizing my time now, thanks to Jessica’s advice. Here are some of her ideas on how you can do that too – at the office, at home or on the go:
1. Stretch it out: Stretch three times a day for five minutes – when you wake up, after lunch to speed digestion and before bed. In two weeks, you’ll be more flexible and feel better because your body will have an easier time breaking down lactic acid and detoxifying. It will also help fight Father Time. “As we age, we need long, lean muscle to combat osteoporosis,” Jessica says. “It’s not just for a look. Stretching helps elongate fibers and maintain range of motion.” Be conscious of those muscle fibers. We use them every day, even when not ‘working out.’ We’re pushing and pulling, picking things up (like children and grocery bags) or walking up stairs. “I don’t want to be 80 and unable to move properly,” Jessica says. “That means I have to start taking care of my muscle fibers now. We have this one vessel – that’s it. We have to make it count.”
2. Quench: Many of us women worry that we retain water and add weight or puffiness by drinking too much, but that reasoning is backwards. If you’re not drinking enough water, that’s when your body retains it. “We’re made up of water, so if we don’t drink water, we hold it,” Jessica says. “Our organs need water and our body is smart. It won’t release water if you’re not replacing it.” When your body holds water, your system can’t flush toxins. Jessica recommends starting your day with a gallon jug of water and marking on that gallon exactly how much you need to drink every 2 hours to finish the gallon by bedtime.
3. Muscular Multi-Tasking: Yes, you can tone up using your body weight while at work, without equipment. Jessica recommends utilizing time spent on the phone or reading documents to simultaneously do calf raises, air squats, stationary lunges or standing twists while squeezing your abs. Her personal goal – 100 daily air squats between clients. “Time is precious,” Jessica says. “Ten-minute spurts can be effective, if you’re committed to incorporating them daily. At the end of the week, it can add up to almost an hour.” An easy variation would be to take that conference call on your cell phone while you go for a walk or schedule a walking meeting instead of sitting around a conference table.