Habits become ingrained within us over a period of time. These habits can be good or bad or sometimes even neutral. Poor eating habits and the habit of not working out on a regular basis can be terrible ones not to break. Research suggests that obese people on average take 7-14 years off of their life expectancy due to their weight problems. Now, not everyone is obese but the amount of people that are at least overweight in this country is astounding. Carrying too much weight is not natural and the consequences can indeed by dire but the good news is that these effects can be mitigated with simple changes in habits carried out over long periods of time. In this post, I want to take a closer look at ways to make proper diet and exercise a life long habit and not a constant struggle.
Why it so difficult to form the habit of exercising? That is the question. Well, making wholesale changes to your life isn’t easy because it isn’t comfortable. Change is hard, much harder than doing the same thing day in and day out, and gradually getting more unhealthy. What’s cool is that this idea also works in reverse once you start installing a new habit. Getting into the habit of working out and eating healthy consistency, will eventually make it so that it is almost an automatic response and not something you have to force yourself to do. Most people fail to make this change because the initial change of poor habits is an uncomfortable thing to go through.
Find Ways to Force it into Your Schedule
Part of the formation of a habit has to do with how accessible it is for you. We all have things to do in our lives other than exercise, but it is imperative that we learn to include it in our schedules. Therefore, rather than jumping on the latest trend in the hope that you will keep doing some extreme diet or exercise program for the long haul, follow something that is adaptable and gradual in its demands on your time. Easy to make, easy to integrate.
Keep it Simple
Overhauling both your diet and exercise routine is a major change. Suddenly dropping your calories and hitting the gym 5 times per week is going to be extreme to deal with on top of all of your other demands. Not to mention how tired and sore you’d be. The key is to make these changes small and easy to apply. For instance, the first week could you simply keeping track of how many calories you take in, as an estimate and to see what can easily be cut out. Then, combine that with 2-3 days of an exercise routine. For the second week, you could focus on eliminating sugary drinks (or whatever your vice may be) and just eating a healthy breakfast to go along with that 2-3 day per week workout routine.
Now, it doesn’t have to be that slow to implement these changes but if it is really a challenge for you to make these changes, then go as slow as you need to. Remember, we are programmed to want to stay in these bad patterns we’ve set for ourselves and these small changes in the course we sail will put us in an entirely better place with enough time. Not only that, but find something that you enjoy doing as a workout. If you like walking in nature, take some headphones and go out there. Want to get stronger? Add a lifting program. It starts simple, jumping rope, go walking, walking and jogging, body weight exercises, cycling… something that is enjoyable and easy to understand .Same with weightlifting, start small and with the basics and build from there.
Take your time. The habit is created over time, the more time passes and you’re doing, deeper will sink the habit in you. Be consistent. Do not try to do one day and then come back next week. You have to exercise on a regular basis. Frequency equals helps make the habit automatic. This is for the long-term, this includes eating healthy and exercising, it is very valuable and must always be present if you want to have a healthy and fit body.