Just a few habits can make all the difference to our fitness levels, health and wellbeing. The new year is all about making a change, but often it becomes nothing more than a well-intentioned short term change in behaviour that gets abandoned months or weeks down the track. So how do really healthy people manage to stay fit? Well, here are the secrets:
Habit 1 – Fit people don’t diet. They understand that they need to exercise to burn the calories, or that extra treat. What’s more, they exercise to feel better, rather than obsess about scales.
Habit 2 – They have found a way to genuinely enjoy exercise. It’s all about finding what sport suits you and your life. Is it bike riding, running, playing a team sport or something that you did as a child, that you can pick up again? Trampolining perhaps?
Habit 3 – They get enough sleep. Find out how much sleep you need to really feel your best during the day and make it a priority. There is a lot of research showing that having enough sleep helps keep you healthy.
Habit 4 – Fit people make exercising a priority and stick to it. The reality is, we are all busy and with small children to look after it’s even harder. Find your ‘sweet spot,’ the time each day when you can make a regular commitment and make it happen. If you do fall off your schedule, just get back to it – easy!
Habit 5 – Eat well and eat breakfast. Eating well and exercise go hand in hand. You tend not to crave unhealthy foods when you are feeling fit and
healthy. And eating a solid healthy breakfast goes a long way to heart health too according to research from The Harvard School of Public Health.
Habit 6 – They drink water more than any other liquid. According to Kidney Health Australia, your body can last weeks without food, but only days without fluid. The body has nowhere to store the fluid it needs to replenish the blood and for body functions to work properly, so drink water regularly.
Habit 7 – They have the support of their partners and kids, or someone who can help motivate them. It’s less easy to skip out on a run if you have someone else relying on you. A commitment to train with someone removes the option of skipping out. At the very least, it’s helpful to have someone at home to push you out the door and congratulate you when you return.
Even if you pick one or two of these habits, the experts will tell you that it will make a big difference to your life. For me, it’s just the simple act of bike riding with my son every day to school and back, together with more strenuous exercise, of course. My husband goes on longer rides several times a week and has been keeping it up for a year or so. For both of us, in fact for the whole family, it has made the world of difference to our health and overall feelings of well-being and happiness. And we still eat chocolate biscuits when we feel the urge.