How I Balance Healthy Living with Being a Farmer

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There’s this common misconception (especially among women) that you can’t have a busy schedule and still live a healthy lifestyle.

Somewhere along the line, we’ve gotten it stuck in our heads that we have to choose one or the other.

But here’s what I’ve realized after years of living a fast-paced life:

>>> Sacrificing your health will never get you ahead.

As a busy woman myself, I know that it’s my health that ultimately supports me in living the kind of life that I truly desire.

It’s because of this simple truth that so much of the information on this blog is geared towards helping women simplify their fitness routines. Because when you have a fitness routine in place that compliments your busy schedule (rather than complicates it)- life just gets easier!

Just so we’re clear: the point of this blog post isn’t to TELL you about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle- you likely already know that… 

In this post, I want to actually SHOW you how I am able to stay committed to my fitness goals even with a busy schedule.

If there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s this:

Information is just information until you decide to do something with it.

I think the reason that so many women struggle with trying to balance health and the regular demands of life is because there’s a disconnect with knowing what-to-do and knowing how-to-do it in a way that’s not overly complicated. 

So in this blog post, I’m sharing what a day in my life looks like. I’ll break it all down, step-by-step so you can have a better understanding of how to balance ‘healthy living’ with a hectic lifestyle! 

how to live a healthy lifestyle

This post may contain affiliate links, for more information, see my disclosures here.

Life on a West Michigan Dairy Farm:

I’ve shared bits and pieces of my farm background in previous posts.

But I’ve never shared a day-in-the-life. The truth is that while my routine feels ‘normal‘ to me, no two days are ever the same.

And what keeps me sane through it all, are the non-negotiables that I have established for myself. 

My non-negotiables are tiny habits that benefit my health; they are the choices that I stick to on a daily basis and that ultimately, set me up for success. 

I know that my personal needs must be met before I can give to others. 

A Day in the Life of a Busy Farm Girl:

My mornings start at 4:30 am. While I love how peaceful and calm the early hours of the day are, ‘getting up’ early isn’t something that has always come natural for me.

And I’ve learned (the hard way) that the key to waking up feeling rested + refreshed starts with being intentional with how I go to bed. 

I’ve shared my simple night time routine in this blog post here. And it’s made all the difference in helping me be my most productive (and happy) self in the morning.

My work day starts:

By 5:00 am, I’m in the barn getting everything prepared for our morning milking. On our farm, we milk 80 holstein cows twice-daily in our tie-stall barn. 

Our cows only spend time in the tie-stall barn when they’re being milked (otherwise they spend their time roaming freely in our free-stall barn) so my first task of the day is making sure that each cow makes it into her correct stall.

Once inside we place feed in front of each cow and begin the milking process. It takes about two and a half hours for us to make it all the way through the barn.

Morning Chores:

Many hands make light work-  and I don’t know if there’s a better example of this than on our dairy farm!

There’s a lot of work that goes into finishing morning chores; there’s a lot of jobs that need attending to. And I’m thankful that not all those jobs have to be filled by me.

Besides milking, morning chores also includes things like: feeding milk to calves, and feeding grain + hay to our youngstock (we raise our own heifers + bulls on the farm). 

We also monitor all of the animals to make sure that none are getting sick.

Cleaning Up after Morning Shift:

Once everyone is milked and fed, it’s time to clean up. The manure is scraped out of our free-stall barns every day so that our cows have a nice + clean place to rest.

The hay feeders are filled with hay so the cows always have something to munch on.

The tie-stall barn where we milk is also cleaned thoroughly and fresh straw is placed in the stalls. Our milking units are sanitized. Everything is put back in tip-top shape so it’s ready to go for the afternoon milking.

Mid-Morning Farm Work:

Mid-mornings are usually reserved for ‘general farm work’ type jobs.

There’s a lot of different jobs that could fall into this category. We usually use this time to do things like: clean pens, repair anything that’s broken, herd health checks with our veterinarian, etc. 

Lunch Time:

By the time lunch rolls around, I’m usually starving!

I do make it a habit to always carry a protein bar with me (these are my absolute favorite!) and I will usually snack on one while working- but, at this point, after 7 hours on the job, I’ve worked up an appetite. 

So I run home for a quick break. 

While I could easily be tempted to indulge in an unhealthy lunch (I am only human after all), I tend to stick to my diet thanks to my (easy) meal planning strategy– I shared all the details of that in this blog post here.

And when my schedule feels especially full and I can’t be bothered to cook, I rely on these convenient, healthy meal-delivery services to keep me on track with my healthy eating habits.

Afternoon Work Schedule:

In the afternoon, I could be doing any number of things depending on the season.

I could be working in the fields driving tractor; I could be working in my flower garden; or I could be working on content for this blog. 

It really just depends on what time of year it is, what the weather is like, and how much help we have at the farm.

Exercise Break:

At 4:00pm I take a short pause to get some sort of exercise in. Not all my workouts are super structured- the important things is that I just move my body!

I will say that I do love the free workouts included inside this app.

I’ve been able to stick to my goal of getting some sort of daily movement in thanks to the strategies that I’ve outlined in this blog post here, where I talk about 4 ways to make your healthy habits stick (for good!). 

Afternoon Chores:

And just like that it’s time to head back into the barn for another round of milking and clean up.  Milking procedures are the same for both morning and night milking.

Most nights, when everything is running smoothly, we finish up around 8:00 pm. After that I head home and enjoy some time to myself, unwinding after a busy day.

I usually like to sit quietly and read a while; and almost every night I will add to my gratitude journal (I talk about the importance of gratitude + how it has changed my life- in this blog post here).

All too quickly it’s time for bed! After a long day’s work, I’m ready for some much needed rest.

Now it’s your turn, how do you stay healthy when you have a busy schedule? Let me know in the comments below!

Here to support YOU, 

XO- Britney (@ms.fit.farmer)

P.S. Are you a busy woman that needs help mapping out a fitness plan that will work with your busy lifestyle? 

In my signature program, Sustainably You!, I teach women HOW to make healthy living work for their lifestyle so they can live life with more freedom and energy.

Fitness is so much more than just ‘weight loss’.

You see, the right fitness plan can help you feel more capable in tackling the hard things in life; it will give you the strength to endure difficult challenges, and the confidence to know that you can overcome whatever comes your way. 

I’d love for you to join us in the next round of Sustainably YOU! Click here to learn more.

Britney Zondlak

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I'm Britney,

Just a small-town gal with a passion for fitness + health- Using my little corner of the Internet to spread light and positive vibes. It is my mission to encourage all women to step into the best-version of themselves possible. After all- you deserve it, girl!

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