Life after college is quite the paradox. For most, it means long(er) work weeks and less spending money, but more free time than school ever permitted. Exhausted after a day’s work, more free-time is spent on the sofa than engaging in life’s more active pursuits. Often times, health follows hedonism right out the door. With so much energy devoted to work, aesthetics and nutrition suddenly don’t seem as important as they used to be.
Here are 5 easy ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle when your energy level and lack of money are stacked against you.
Tired, hungry workers have a tendency to take the easy route, such as eating take-out and fast food instead of cooking at home. Don’t be one of them. With less time spent on exercising, eating right is more important than ever. Carefully budget your money by utilizing the grocery store. Save the $5 you’d spend on a burger and fries and make yourself a healthy wrap instead. Don’t have much time to cook? Find some quick recipes on the internet, and develop 5-6 “go-to” meals. Spend the extra five minutes each night and prepare a simple lunch to bring to the office. Your body and wallet will thank you!
Turn those daunting plateaus into your best friends! Small workouts were inevitable in college because you were walking to and from class. Replace those workouts by challenging yourself every day to walk past the elevator to the staircase, and ascend each level at a comfortable pace. These mini-workouts go a long way towards maintaining the functioning health of your cardiovascular system.
Do your best to include some real physical activity into your schedule. Find a workout partner – preferably one from your office – who shares your workout interests and has a similar schedule, thereby giving you an outside source of motivation. Use the weekends for workout activities like hiking with friends, bike riding and walking on the beach. Start easy and be realistic with your plan, even if it means only scheduling 10 minutes of exercise each day.
The importance of sleep cannot be overstated. Not only does being well-rested give you the energy to perform at the height of your abilities each day at work, but it gives you the energy to workout and stay healthy as well (which itself produces more energy).
Just because college is over doesn’t mean you have to stop learning. Educate yourself on healthy fitness and nutritional practices by checking out information available at UCLA Recreation facilities. For those who like to work out in groups, check out the Activity Guide in the Recreation Quarterly for new and interesting fitness classes at UCLA.