As soon as we get through Christmas and New Year, I’ll join the gym, stop smoking, stop boozing and I’ll definitely cut out all white carbs.
Yep, good luck with doing all that at once (or even starting to in the first place)! Big, general goals like that are not the most sustainable in my experience.
Why don’t we start a little smaller? How about firstly, looking past the ‘better body on the outside’ goal, there are so many non-physical benefits to exercising whether outdoors on your own, or joining a gym. Exercise helps us psychologically in a massive way – it boosts our self-esteem and confidence, it can reduce stress, boost our memory and help prevent cognitive decline, it boosts our creativity and mood generally and can actually help tackle addictive behaviours. The act of exercising or just being outdoors with the dog, releases a ‘feel good’ chemical called dopamine which is released by the brain in response to any form of pleasure. Unfortunately, drugs, alcohol or sugar can produce a similar short-term response from the body. The good news is by substituting some potentially bad behaviours (like consuming an entire box of Ferraro Rocher) with some form of exercise we can gradually start to deal with those less-desirable ones.
Nutrition and exercising do go hand in hand, we all know what we should and shouldn’t be eating, it’s just having the discipline to stick to something! A well balanced, whole food diet is the way to eat for health, if you have specific body goals like reducing body fat percentage etc. then a bit more research and a more refined eating plan is probably needed. Just be sensible, it takes time and it SHOULD take time in order for us to be well and to be able to sustain a change in diet.
Getting back to the goal setting, set small ones – go to a different class 3 times in one week, don’t drink any alcohol for a week, don’t eat any sugar for a week. You’d be amazed at how good it feels to achieve a small goal like that, and then lo and behold you start to do it for 2 weeks, then 3…then it becomes normal and we start to build the good habit of getting to a class regularly or not drinking. Nailed it!
Find classes and activities that you really enjoy participating in, never force yourself or drag yourself off to a class you dislike, motivation will be rock bottom in no time. Set some reminders on your phone, like don’t’ forget spinning at 6 pm tonight! Or circuits at 8 am tomorrow, or like me, just write a list (I love a good list) and then the abnormal amount of pleasure in my case of crossing out the tasks for the day. If you plant the seed of doing something, then it’s there in the back of our minds and you end up going because you can’t stop thinking about it!
Come and plant some seeds and form some habits with us at Healthy Options this summer and we’ll either get you back on the right track or start you on a new one!
Book your Healthy Options holiday in advance and enjoy the feeling of having something to look forward to that is good for your health. You could set yourself an achievable fitness goal between now and your holiday.