Change is good…… but not necessarily easy!
Whether you want to take on the challenge of eating healthier, quit smoking, beginning an exercise program or simply start walking in the morning. Relying on willpower alone will not get you there!
Setting out on a fitness journey requires strategies for achieving a change in behaviour. Below are seven pointers to help you set the behavioural changes in place to reach your goals. Moving & eating well is a lifestyle, a lifestyle lead by behaviours.
• Change one behaviour at a time. Remember that your bad behaviour didn’t happen overnight, and neither will your new healthy behaviour. If you try to accomplish too much at once you are more likely to fail. Choose one new healthy behaviour; accomplish it every day for 30 days, then move on to the next one!
• Get support. Tell a friend or family member about your desire to adapt a new healthy behavioural change, seek the service of a personal trainer or dietician, or become a part of a team. Get your partner up for a walk in the morning or a friend to come along to a fitness class with you.
• Be realistic and specific with your plan. Write down the days and times you are available to exercise, times that suit you. There is no point in writing goals that are unrealistic. You work 8am – 6pm on weekdays, writing down you want to do the Wednesday afternoon FIT45 class is an unrealistic goal, work around what you can do!
• Use rewards. Recognise your accomplishments! When you reach a goal or make a big behavioural change, treat yourself to a massage or a movie. You are your biggest fan!
• Don’t allow yourself to get bored. It is quite easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to exercise, so keep it interesting. Change your morning walk route; participate in a casual sporting competition; get your gym program updated by a personal trainer; try a new class.
• Monitor your behaviour. Keep a record of your workouts and what you’re achieving. Studies prove that if you are monitoring your exercise routine and habits, you are more likely to lose weight and make better improvements in your fitness. A great app, is PRODUCTIVE. You list the habits you want to achieve on certain days of the week and you need to tick it off when you complete the habit. The habit can be anything from reaching a target of 3 litres of water in the day or doing your ‘Sunday morning run’.
• Learn how to be positive. A simple one, but being more positive makes your brain more productive and reduces stress. ‘Generally an unhealthy behaviour is a mechanism we turn to when we are tired, hungry or emotional. We use it to manage stress and anxiety, which results in creating additional negativity and guilt.’ Even changing the words you use, instead of saying you had an extremely busy day at work, say you had a very productive day at work. Change the way you think.
Blog by Stephanie Marsh, our resident Strength Coach. Book an appointment with Steph today!