5 Healthy Habits to Start Now:
Research has proven that it takes 14-21 days to make a new habit and many more days to break it, so baby steps play an important part when making any change in our life. When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, weight loss is typically very challenging for people if they go all out on a “FAD DIET”. There is rarely success witnessed because the goal is too large and small steps are never in place.
It would make more sense to initiate one daily nutritional change a week, rather than an entire food agenda. I always compare changing a habit or initiating a new one, to the routine of brushing teeth. We all do it when we wake up and before bed because this is something we were taught at an early age and it becomes an easy habit. It is hard to break. We do not feel right of we do not brush our teeth. I like to use this analogy with my clients. Routines create habits.
The first and easiest healthy habit I try to encourage is to have a cleansing drink before coffee or breakfast. Whether it is just warm water and lemon, or some chlorophyll and water, I think that most people can do this, as it is an easy, affordable thing to do. Eventually, as this practice becomes part of your routine, you find that you do not even have to think about it.
When to Drink Water
Another simple step to do when it comes to daily meals is to have a glass of water before eating but never while eating. Any liquid that you consume while eating will dilute your enzymes, challenging digestion (which is hard enough for a lot of people as it is) and cause bloating. Drinking before, will help you to eat less and slower. This is also a new habit that you can implement anywhere, even on vacation. When it comes to changing something negative in your diet, the first step to forming a new habit has to be to eliminate the problem area from the environment. If it is soft drinks or too much wine that you are trying to cut out, make sure that they are off your shopping list and out of the house: “out of sight, out of mind”.
How to Start Exercising
When it comes to adding an exercise program to a busy agenda , I would rather see someone start with moving more in their daily life, rather than joining a gym too quickly without a plan of when they will be fitting it in. If you have an hour lunch at work, take 30 minutes and go for a walk instead. Make it fun by either finding a buddy, or creating a challenge. Map out a distance that you can do easily in 30 minutes and try to beat your time. Doing this every day will create a habit that your body eventually will crave and the endorphins will get you off your chair before you even think about it.
Monkey See. Monkey Do.
Of course there is nothing better or more beneficial than helping your child develop healthy habits early in life. My boys were with me constantly when I first started my career in fitness and health. They were in the gym watching me exercise or training clients, and were never exposed to soft drinks or processed foods while growing up. As young adults now, they have developed very healthy habits. They didn’t know any different. In their world, it was normal to exercise every day, and eat home cooked meals. I highly encourage parents today to try and get their kids involved in extra physical activity at a very young age. If they are not drawn to a certain sport and especially if they do not enjoy team sports, there are many other things that you can do. A fun trainer, who has a strong background in working with children can be so beneficial. Exercising at a young age promotes confidence like nothing else and can lead to the healthiest habits. We also know that parents are role models for their offspring. If you are sedentary, and simply drop your child off at the gym without showing any enthusiasm or participating as well, chances are your child will never develop this healthy exercise habit either.
It has been well documented that going to sleep at the same time every night for both you and your kids leads to better sleeping habits. Although there is no magic number that is right for everyone, consistency definitely leads to better health and performance. Feeling stronger and well rested obviously helps you stay focused and committed to your daily routines and loyal to new habits!