It isn’t always easy to develop healthy behaviors, is it? We know that we want to do one thing but our body or our mind complain, and we end up doing the exact opposite. But it is worth bearing in mind that being healthy really is just a habit, one that can be learned like anything else. So read on to find out more about the type of habits you should be increasing, the type you should be decreasing and how to set successful habit targets that will help you reach your ultimate health and fitness goals.
Increase the good stuff
Getting into healthy habits don’t have to mean an entire life overhaul, it’s perfectly OK to build up positive habits like exercise, making healthy food choices, and meditating over time. In fact, that is often the best way of getting habits to actually stick.
But what does that looks like in practice? Well, instead of deciding that, although you haven’t exercised for years, in the next three months you will run a marathon. It might be better to make some realistic goals.
You can even start with five minutes a day of exercise. You might scoff at five minutes and say that it’s hardly worth doing it, but actually, that isn’t your end goal. It’s just a stepping stone on the way to success.
By allowing your body to get used to an increase of physical exercise slowly, you can help prevent strain injuries, and you also build up your own sense of achievement and motivation. Instead of setting a goal that is unattainable and then having something you failed at to punish yourself with.
This gradual increase also works well for other healthy habits like eating well, meditating and time to take to relax and de-stress. Build these positive habits slowly into your life, and you may just be surprised at how much better you feel.
Decrease the toxic stuff
Of course, as you are increasing the positive habits that you are making in your life, it’s also helpful to decrease the bad stuff too. But what in particular should we be doing or consuming less of?
Well, one obvious thing is smoking less. OK, so not everyone is unlucky enough to be addicted to cigarettes, but if you are, then you can be sure that they are taking their toll on your health. That’s why it’s one of the most healthy things that you can do to give them up.
But what is the best way? Is it to do it all in one go and go cold turkey? Or is it to cut back gradually? Well, you really can only answer this question for yourself, as what works for one person may not work for you.
You may feel that you need to give up as soon as possible, so go cold turkey or use nicotine replacement therapy. You can even things like Champix tablets can help you stop smoking. As they decrease your craving for cigarettes.
Or you may find it easy to replace one cigarette at a time with nicotine lozenges, spray or an e-cigarette machine instead. Remember you can fill these with lower and lower amounts of nicotine in the fluid, which make the are viable option for many folks trying to give up.
Of course, there are other toxic things that it is a good idea to cut down on as well. For instance, sugar is a big problem these days, with people only just starting to realize how harmful it can be to consume regularly.
The same goes for particulate additives and a type of fats like trans fats found in palm oil. Which are all worthy of being put on your decrease list.
Habit targets, monitoring and rewards
Also, remember that the mind may be willing, but the flesh can be weak and just because these things are on you increase or decrease list, doesn’t mean that this exactly what you will do every time you come across one. But this is actually OK. As beating yourself up when you don’t keep to the healthier habits that you are setting for yourself is not the best way to achieve your goals.
So instead set yourself a target, and monitor when and how often you meet it. You can even give yourself little rewards to keep you motivated and positive about your progress. Although just make sure that they don’t end up being things that are on your decrease list as that would be a bit counterproductive.