Working, partying, raising a kid — we can get so caught up in everyday life that we may forget to look after ourselves properly. Here’s your plan.
The lazy one
Stereotype: Exercise? Say again? And forget planning ahead — it’s too much effort.
“What a lazy person most needs is a friend to work out with, as generally they have no desire to push themselves into working out,” explains Dalton Wong, weight loss expert at the U.K.’s Bodyism Clinic. “The best is for them to join a class with a dynamic vibe and common goal. That adds pressure and they are more likely to participate.”
When it comes to food, a lazy person should plan ahead. “Set aside one afternoon to prepare meals for the next few days,” says Wong. “At the supermarket, pick up everything at once. And go for the easy options such as pre-cut vegetables and fruit, pre-cooked rice [and] yogurt.”
“With someone who’s lazy, it can go one of two ways,” says nutritionist Carrie Wiatt, who has designed meal plans for Jennifer Aniston and Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas. “They can either over- or under-eat. Their laziness could cause them to reach out for ready-made processed foods, often full of additives, salt and sugar,” she says. To control this unsteady pattern, they should eat a controlled portion every three to four hours.
Stereotype: You tackle a 5-mile run in the morning and spin class after work.
“What an athlete needs most is rest,” says Wong. When someone is always ‘go, go, go!’ they can end up injured and unable to exercise. “Exercise addicts need self-imposed ‘time out’ from their routine where they should do little more than stretch to allow their body to recover,” he suggests. “For every intense week of training, in three or four weeks they should be taking one week off.” For diet, Wong suggests eating plenty of ‘living’ foods, especially green vegetables and lean proteins.
Stereotype: You have your local takeout place on speed dial and sleep with your BlackBerry under your pillow.
“Our bodies are designed to move, even if this is a two-minute walk to the water cooler every hour or taking the stairs instead of the elevator,” says Wong. “We need an absolute minimum of 15 to 20 minutes a day where we keep moving if we want to keep the weight off.” He also suggests regular meals, as workaholics often forget to eat during the day and then have three meals in one at night. “If your body functions well, you will have more energy and be more productive at work,” he says.
The stay-home parent
Stereotype: You have a screaming baby to deal with and no time for a two-hour gym session.
“Parents focus on their children 100 percent,” says Wiatt. “They spend so much time cooking meals for others that they don’t eat properly themselves and lack the energy to get through a hectic day,” she adds. Wong explains that young parents need to be very conscious of what they eat. “The key is to avoid picking and have set meals, as parents tend to erratically graze at food throughout the day — which in the long-term leads to an excess in calories and weight gain.” He also advises that you exercise with your kids as much as possible, whether it’s running or rolling around, or holding them in your arms as you walk up the stairs. “Learn to work out in short bursts whenever you can,” he says.
“Doing housework and running errands burns calories. Do some squats or lunges when the baby is having a nap, or put on an exercise DVD. Anything is better than nothing.”