Always On The Run? Try These Six Shortcuts For Optimal Health

Go, go, go! If you are anything like me you want to be healthy and take care of your family but with a busy lifestyle it is hard to get things down exactly right . When it comes to health and nutrition doing exactly the perfect thing may seem nearly impossible. I know there are some of you out there (you know who you are) who are just about perfect at following all the rules of health and fitness- but for those of you that live on the run and want to get the health and fitness thing down, here are some terrific tips and shortcuts on living healthy.

Not Ideal But The Next Best Thing To Optimal Health

**The Best Thing-Eat five to nine servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily-Of course this would be wonderful if every single day you could sit and munch on fresh fruits and vegetables and your body would get a plethora of nutrients, however some days that is just not going to happen. Shortcut-Take a whole food supplement (I take the Pops religiously everyday and love how I feel), which are basically fruits and veggies in a powder form without the sugar, fiber and water and put into a capsule (at least the Pops are), Try vitamin rich dried fruits, or frozen vegetables.

**The Best Thing-Get at least seven hours of sleep at night-I hate to admit this because I know how important sleep is but I rarely get seven hours of sleep at night. As a matter of fact I should probably go to bed now, but then I am sure I would just lie there and think of writing this post so-oh well. "A 2007 study at the University of Warwick, in England, found that women who slept less than five hours a night were twice as likely to suffer from hypertension as women who got seven hours of sleep. Previous studies have linked lack of sleep to weight gain, and a weakened immune system." Shortcut-Take a nap. Even 20 minutes of sleep can help revive you. I hate to be negative here but who really has time for a nap? If you can find the time then do it! You will feel better.

**The Best Thing-Wash your hands with soap and water every time you touch a germy surface-Now don't panic and become obsessive about this but every time you touch a door handle, grocery buggy, shake hands, etc there are germs. Each time you touch your face you can pass germs into your eyes, nose, or mouth and possibly catch a cold, the flu or gastrointestinal illness. Years ago I saw an Oprah on movie theater seats and all the germs there and everywhere else. It was awful because for weeks everywhere I went that was all I thought about-germs, germs, germs. Those shows always scare me (which is why I no longer watch stuff like true crime, forensic files, you know the type that scare you to death as you try to get to bed in the dark). Shortcut-Carry hand sanitizer or baby wipes with you and apply to hands after germy surfaces are touched. With my two kids this is a must. You should see all the things they touch, put in their mouth. I don't know how we are all still alive and kicking some days.

**The Best Thing-Lift weights at least twice a week-My online personal trainer and New York fitness professional, Christopher Warden, is a big advocate of all the wonderful things that strength training can do for you (I have to agree as I have never felt or looked better since I started strength training,especially with weights). "Working with weights strengthens bone mass, and helps burn calories more efficiently." Plus it is wonderful to feel stronger and look more toned. Shortcut-Use the weight of your own body as resistance to strengthen muscles. Before I started using weights, Christopher had me doing squats, push ups, lunges and other such exercises and I could really feel the impact of those even without the weights.

**The Best Thing-Brush your teeth after every meal and floss once a day-Would be perfect if you could but honestly who always can? Shortcut-Chew sugarless gum after you eat which can wash away food particles and keep bacteria at bay.

**The Best Thing-Eat fish twice a Week-Being a vegetarian I am not really an advocate of this but the benefits of fish are that they are packed with DHA and Omega 3 Fatty Acids , which can boost the immune system and reduce the risk of heart disease. Shortcut-Try adding flax seed to your diet. You can add flax seeds to a salad, grinding them up or throwing them in your oatmeal. There is also flax seed oil and I personally take a teaspoon of flax seed oil every day (can be found in most health food stores) as it is just easier for me.

I hope these shortcuts can help you out on those days when you just can't seem to get the health and fitness thing down just right.

Source-Real Simple magazine, June 2008


  1. I take vitamin D everyday now since last fall, we don't get enough sun exposure here in Canada during the winter. I'm still taking it, but now that it's summer, but am thinking of stopping until Autumn.

    Do you have and good tips for eating vegetables healthily (low cal too)...I don't like them, but just do it! (eat em)

    Fruits are not my favorite thing either, but I put flavored yogurts on them to make them taste good.

  2. Again Heidi, excellent article and food for thought.

  3. What would you suggest substituting mean for? I'd like to get close to being vegan as I can but still have a husband who wants spaghetti with meat sauce, meat loaf, etc.

  4. Thanks for the great advice; always enjoy your blogl

  5. Another shortcut, that works for me, is to do body weight exercises, such as push ups, Hindu squats, back bridges, and a few others.

    This way, the time spent commuting to the gym is used instead to workout.

    My wife does the same thing, except she works out to DVD's such as TaeBo, Slim in 6, and P90X.

  6. Such great tips :) I definitely need to get on the weight lifting train. I need to start with push-ups first.

    7 hours sounds heavenly :)

  7. Hey Heidi! Great article. I definitely need more sleep! I think our 15-month old son is trying to kill us (waking up throughout the night).

  8. Heidi, you should be happy to know that I've been eating more nuts and more fruits lately. I hope to lose some extra weight. These short cuts would surely be great for us busy people. He,he. What I need right now is more sleep. Thanks for sharing your tips. BTW. You look great in all your photos. You really look the health nut person. Good night.

  9. it's that second one which trips me up EVERY TIME.


  10. As always great tips...

    I've always wondered about the vegetarian lifestyle...have you done a detailed post on how to eat vegetarian?? I would love to read your thoughts on vegetarianism!


  11. Need to get on the weight training as well....does helping a friend move count? ;)

    I love fish I could eat it all day, every day!

  12. Heidi, I especially liked the concept of "shortcuts". We're all so busy, busy, busy today that it is hard to be the optimum health and fitness that we wish to be. But with these special hints, It's motivating and feasible. Thanks for another enjoyable, applicable post.

  13. I LOVE all the short cuts!
    I am using small weights right now while I walk, but as I get stronger I want to increase the weight.

    My eating habits are atrocious. I need to take supplements but hate swallowing horse pills and have a weak stomach....

    Any suggestions?

  14. I've never heard of trying to eat fish twice a day. I'd be lucky if I ate it twice a week! I miss living in California where you can get such fresh fish. I would eat it all the time.

  15. GReat post and blog. I need help with my eight year old daughter's weight. Any resources that can help me?

  16. I liked this blog.I have also blog which is about the natural cure of please add this link in this blog

  17. Nice shortcuts, Very interesting.
    I feel you can add "The Best thing - Do meditation or YOGA atlease once a week"
    Also, "The best thing - Always go with natural medicines(If you are sick)"
    Am I right?


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