Exercise or cook?

Source: Pinterest, via Sophie Tortladze

Exercise and cooking: taking charge of these two activities is crucial to living a healthy lifestyle.  Are you able to do them both consistently?

If you said no, you are not alone.  Researchers at Ohio State University's College of Public Health say most Americans choose one activity at the expense of the other.  These two healthy behaviors, they say, are just too difficult for us to fit into our jam-packed days.

Since you can't run while you're chopping carrots, what should you do?

Being aware of this issue is the first step toward solving it.  Here are a few tips to help you out:
  • Plan your week carefully.  Just as you schedule your workouts, schedule your dinners
  • If you have extra time on the weekends, consider making double batches of meals that you can freeze and pull out later in the week, on the day you take a longer cycling class
  • Wash fresh fruits and vegetables in the evenings and stash in the refrigerator, to build quick salads for lunch or snacks
  • Collect easy and quick recipes that you know you can get on the table in 30 minutes or less
  • Get a friend or two together for a night of wine and cooking.  Share recipes and swap dishes to freeze for later.  The next week, get together for a walk or run
  • Involve your spouse.  It is hard for one person to consistently get a fresh cooked meal on the table.  Schedule nights when he or she takes charge so you have more time for exercise
  • Arrange for some healthy cheats.  Read nutrition labels carefully and find a few prepared meals that won't make you feel like the Loser Mom of the Year (which you most definitely are not) when you place them on the table
What are your tips?  

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