Gray: Run your schedule, run your health

Katie Engstrom of Alpena is a mother of two young children who works full-time at her family business. She used to plan her weekends with activities. However, during the week, her work and her kids ran her schedule. She never thought about planning out her days to be more productive.

When she was pregnant with her second baby, fitness took a front seat. She wanted to feel better, recover faster and have more energy for her toddler and baby on the way. She got up early to exercise at home before the kids were up, or she met friends at the health club to take classes together. She was able to see friends and get healthy at the same time.

She also started planning her grocery list and her meals for the week. Her organization and focus worked. She is stronger, leaner and more energized than before she had kids. She has more patience and feels happier. She made room in her life for new opportunity, now running an online fitness business in addition to her full-time job in marketing.

She said she has more quality time with her kids and husband, even with more things on her plate. She simply gets more out of her days as an active, fit mom. Katie plans with purpose and never hits the pillow wondering where the day went.

Katie took control of her days. She decided to run her life instead of having her life run her. Her story reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: “The way you do anything is the way you do everything.” You have to stop and think about it. Let it sink in a bit. To make it simple, if your days are a mess, your life is disorganized.

If your life is disorganized, your health is struggling, too. You might not agree. You might laugh. But if you dig into it deeper, you might just find that cleaning up your schedule can lead to improved health.

It starts with the desire to live better. Then you follow it up with a plan. The alarm will not magically go off at 6 a.m. for a morning workout if you do not set it. Fresh fruits and veggies, lean meats, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and other nutrient-dense foods will not end up in your refrigerator if you do not take the time to find healthy recipes, make a grocery list and shop with a mission. The evening workout will not happen if you do not put it in your calendar as an appointment and make arrangements with your family and your work.

Your life will accommodate fitness if you give it structure. There is never an ideal time to make a change in your life, there is only now. Just 30 days from now, you could enjoy huge advancements in your health and your life if you take control of your day. Turn off the television, put down your smart phone, run one less errand, or get up a little earlier. Fill that time with a walk, some strength training or stretches. You could also write a grocery list, research healthy recipes on-line or pack a week of lunches.

Time is precious. Life goes too fast. Make each day count by knowing you did your best to live fit and live happy.

Trina Gray is the owner of Bay Athletic Club, a mother of two, a national presenter on fitness and wellness and a change agent in the community. Her wellness column appears monthly.