4 Ways to Make Healthy Steps Lifetime Habits
By Sandy Schroeder
We all have good health intentions, but how often do our healthy habits slip away? That first morning run feels sublime, and the lunchtime walk is a natural, but life gets in the way. New deadlines emerge, family demands surge, and habits lose their grip.
Taking charge of health and anchoring new habits can be crucial. As a recent LA Times article pointed out, “Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits and your habits become your character.”
Make that future positive with four changes
Focus on one habit at a time – When the urge to be healthier strikes, we may try to change our job, weight, kids’ health, and daily interactions all at once. In the process we create chaos and fall back into our usual routines. Instead, make a list of key health goals with specific notes. Then pick one and get started.
Create a new atmosphere – You may seriously want to do strength training, but everything around you denies that. Your phone, laptop, and computer all invite you to work and play. Video games, sports and movies conspire to plant you on the couch. Shake everything up as you add weights, and an exercise mat to use during the day, and the evening. Consider signing up for a yoga class to use your weight to build your strength.
Create a habit, not just a result – Weight gain is a key example. I am often inspired to lose 10 pounds using a new approach that works, but then, just as easily, I may let go of that technique as my weight gradually returns. Finding new ways to eat healthy and work out more and fitting them into my daily life could make those 10 pounds leave and not return.
Decide to commit – No matter how great that morning walk or strength building session seems, until you actually schedule it as part of your regular routine, the more risk you have of letting it slip away. Use your computer, phone, home bulletin boards and any other office reminders available to integrate new habits. Deliberately pick the most logical comfortable time for that extra walk or run, and it may become as natural as brushing your teeth. Then you win. Down the road that daily addition may keep you slimmer, stronger, and less prone to serious disease.
At the end of the year, we all tend to reassess life and look ahead. Make next year your best yet as you put some new healthy habits into play and keep them there.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Boulder, Colo.