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Don't Let the Economy Get You Down: Hard Times Call for Hard Workouts
Don't let loss of money mean loss of motivation
Americans are under a lot of stress right now. Job losses, salary cuts and fear about the economic state of our nation are leaving no one untouched. As many of us are feeling overwhelmed and working harder than ever, we are making economic adjustments to our personal lives. What was once a "necessity" has now become a "luxury." The first things to go when we cut back are the extras like our gym memberships, personal trainers and the more expensive quality foods.
When we are stressed, instead of keeping up with the gym, many of us forgo it because “there are so many other more important things to do.” As stress cuts into our time, we run out the door in the morning or arrive home late in the evening, turning to empty calories and processed foods that are quick and easy. And as our minds race and we worry about what tomorrow will bring, nervous energy can increase our emotional eating.
Make exercise a priority
Now is not the time to abandon yourself! Sure money might be tight and fancy gym memberships and personal trainers might not be financially possible, but that doesn’t mean you quit working out all together! Working out is going to make you feel better — it is a guarantee. Getting out of your head with exercise will help you forget about life for a while.
The most important outlet for stress is exercise. You don’t have to exercise every day or even an hour a day. Just 15 minutes will do. Finding time to exercise might mean waking up a little bit earlier. Or it might mean walking everywhere, riding your bike to and from work, or resigning to only take the stairs. If you no longer have a gym membership, use the outdoors as your gym. As the spring approaches, walk or go for a run and come back home to do some body resistance exercises for strength training such as lunges, squats and push-ups. Working out doesn't have to break the bank.
Focus on healthy habits
Stressful times are when we need to put even more effort into taking care of ourselves and eating right. Keep up with fresh fruits and vegetables and wholesome meals. Try cooking on the weekends for the week ahead, ensuring healthy meals for the week. Avoid emotional eating by keeping trigger foods out of the house. Aim to eat three meals and two snacks a day, three to five hours apart, remembering to stay within the caloric intake that is ideal for your body. During these difficult times, seek comfort in family, friends, hobbies, exercise and other enjoyable activities, rather than in a pint of ice cream.