Earlier this week, I came across an article stating that 73% of Americans work out at least once per week, and 47% of those spend 30 minutes or more working out daily! This really surprised (and thrilled!) me, so I decided to dig into the data a little bit more.
(I created the graphics, but data source is here)
For a data nerd like me, the survey results are really fun to play with! You can cut the data many ways by playing around a bit on the site (I found it funny that those who say their relationship status is “It’s Complicated” work out the most, and Capricorns dominate the zodiac signs for exercisers! Those who work full-time, especially those in the legal profession, also work out the most).
Side note: The sample size was small (1,000 people), and people tend to make themselves look good when answering survey questions (you can tell this is true because the percent that say they don’t exercise changes across questions). So, it’s likely that fewer people are actually exercising, but I was still positively surprised by the results of this study!
Believe it or not, finding out random statistics is not the whole point of this post (you can breathe your sigh of relief here!). However, this study reminded me of another one that I found several months ago, saying that people have a set amount of time allocated to “healthy living behaviors,” and this time flexes between cooking healthy meals and working out. So, if a person works out more during one day, they are less likely to spend time preparing healthy meals, and vice versa. Does this surprise you?
Time is a precious resource, and if I could figure out how to give myself (and you!) more of it each day, you’d better believe I’d be doing so right now! Since I can’t create more time in a day, though, I’ll offer just three tips to help you make time for healthy meals and exercise:
- Make one day your meal prep day. If you only have a certain amount of time to spend on healthy living each day, and you need a rest day from exercising anyway, why not make Sunday (or any other day that works for you) a day to prepare easy-to-grab foods that you can enjoy all week? This will help you avoid reaching for more-tempting/ less-healthy packaged foods, and will save time overall.
- Maximize your time exercising. I’ve talked several times about the benefits of high-intensity interval training. If you keep your heart rate up and really challenge yourself, you can get just as much benefit from a short period of time doing intervals as you can from double the time doing steady-state cardio. (I’ll never give up my steady-state, easy runs – but a lot of this is for the mental/ stress-relief benefit, so don’t discount that either!)
- Make your health a priority. We are all busy, and it can be so hard to find even 10 minutes to squeeze in something extra. Trust me, I feel your pain, and I know how hard it is! But even the busiest of all of us can probably find a few instances during the day when we “waste time” on activities that aren’t the highest priority for us. If you commit to a healthy lifestyle, and truly make it a priority in your every day life, you are much more likely to make time for healthy eating and exercising.
So tell me in the comments … do you think that taking time to prepare healthy meals takes away from the time you devote to exercising, and vice versa? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic, and how the time tradeoff plays out in your life! Also, how are you doing with the Fall Reset? If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen lots of my delicious meals … I’ve already incorporated all 12 detoxifying foods from the list! I definitely miss my sugar, but I’m glad to be doing kicking Fall off in a healthy way.