A hectic life?

Ten tips for a healthier life . . .


The author circulated a questionnaire to management and staff of a number of large Melbourne-based offices, asking how busy professionals managed to incorporate healthy lifestyle choices into the demands and commitments of the corporate world.  Some of the more ingenious responses follow:


1.    Get organised with the meals

Plan tomorrow night’s meal the night before, or get really organised and plan a week in advance. Involve the family, and do a big shop once a week. The crock pot can be very handy through winter, with soups etc. You can soak the lentils the night before, and in the morning change the water and add some coarsely chopped vegetables. When you come home the dinner will be hot and ready to serve.


2.    Buy a convenient and easy to clean juicer

The more convenient it is, the more likely you are to use it.  Vegetable juice is an excellent way to have maximum nutrient value for minimum effort.


3.    Exercise

Commit with a friend (or dog) to exercise at a set time each day or week. This may be going for a walk early in the morning, going to the gym after work, playing a team sport. It's harder to let the exercise slip if a friend or the team is relying upon you.


4.    Delegate chores

Ensure that as far as practical, chores are spread fairly across the members of the household. Often children ask “why do I have to …?” One simple answer is “As a member of the household, we all have to pull our weight.” This gives you more time for self-nurturing, while teaching the kids to be responsible. Housework can also be made into a group activity.  Make it fun!


5.    Reward system

Following on from chore delegation, ensure that every household member is recognised and rewarded for their efforts. This includes you! Rewards may include anything:

  • a massage for the neatest person, given by the messiest

  • a trip to the Farmers’ Market

  • a gym membership

  • a stay at a health resort

  • healthy cooking classes

  • golf lessons

  • singing lessons

  • a dance class

  • an evening playing games

  • having a sleep-over or party


How many more can you think of?

6.    Limit screen time

Possibly the single biggest waster of free time. Try to limit TV viewing to ½ hour a day (3 ½ hours a week). The radio allows you to do other things while keeping informed. No TV means less time on the couch, and more time for healthy activities, like juicing, exercising, and playing with the kids and each other.

7.    Buy a few inspirational healthy cookbooks

Lots of pictures and step-by-step instructions can be very helpful when you are too tired to imagine what it will look like. Pictures are also a great way to get the kids inspired to help.


8.    Clean out the pantry and the fridge

Through out all the food containing artificial colours, flavourings and preservatives, refined carbohydrates, and other junk food. Then do a big shop at your local health food store or health food section of the supermarket to refill your cupboards. 

9.    Go to bed as early as you can

“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”.  Many people find that they function better and feel much brighter if they are able to be in bed earlier. Science can explain this through the understanding of the pineal gland which releases melatonin while you sleep, and it does this most effectively while it is dark.

If you go to bed at 1am and sleep until 9am, then the last few hours
of sleep are during daylight hours. Melatonin not only facilitates deep restful sleep, but it also plays an active role in cellular repair. [1]

10.    Make fun and laughter a priority

If time is to short, then there is no time to be miserable. Don’t waste your time with office gossip, and choose friends with a healthy sense of humour and a positive outlook on life. Research consistently finds that laughter enhances the immune system and promotes improved mental health. [2]



Either by yourself or with the other members of your household, write your own list of ways to incorporate healthy choices into
YOUR life!



[1] Tortora & Grabowski (2000) Principles of Anatomy and Physiology.

[2] Murray & Pizzorno (2002) The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, London, Time Warner.