healthy habits

5 ways to make healthy habits a reality

If you promise to turn over a new leaf every Monday morning but find your best best laid plans are gone by Wednesday, maybe you need to adopt some new healthy habits?

Beginning to go to the gym to work out, or simply just working on building your level of fitness, can often be daunting. With quick results anticipated and some unrealistic expectations often expected disappointment is inevitable. We often get disheartened due to lack of results, which we expect in a short period of time. We then often end up going around in a circle of non-sustainable dieting and lack of motivation to exercise.

To combat this, here are some important tips that can be incorporated into your weekly routine.

Healthy habits for long term success

Every Sunday I lay out my gym clothes and prepare my meals for Monday and Tuesday. Starting the week like this is setting yourself up for an early win.

What matters most when beginning a fitness journey is establishing a new norm. One that will work for you and that can be implemented every week.

The first few months should be about getting into a routine. Trying not to miss workouts or planned exercise periods, and ditching the bad habits. If you can stick to a planned schedule that works, healthy habits will fit into your life seamlessly. Which means progress will follow. Build the habit first, worry about results later.

Add movement to your daily habits

Exercise in any form should be part of our daily routine and not just confined to a gym workout or a fitness class. It is recommended that adults should get 20 minutes of moderate exercise a day or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise over the course of the week. With additional health benefits coming if exercise is increased to 40 minutes a day.

Easy ways to include more movement in your daily routine could include parking further away from work, walking for 10 minutes at the end of your lunch break, or going for a walk when receiving phone calls.

These are all easy activities o include to your day and can contribute to your weekly activity. Why not download a free step counter (I use the Stepz app) to help keep you mindful of your daily activity? Small steps all add up!

Diet assessment

Diet plays such a huge role in how we feel. A healthy relationship with food is key for long-term sustainability. Fad diets simply don’t work in the long term. Instead integrating healthy habits into your daily food intake will lead to a much improved version of yourself.

Some tips I include in my daily routine

  • 90/10 rule
    • 90% whole foods, 10 % treats or snacks.  
  • 8 servings of fruit & veg a day
    • The old ‘5 a day’ is great, but I love to aim higher to get in a wider selection of micronutrients. Allowing a wide variety of colour on your plate also appeals aesthetically. Create your own Instagram worthy dish with a rainbow of colour from your vegetable intake!  
  • One serving of protein with every meal
    • Whether this is meat, beans, lentils or a protein shake, protein is the most filling and will provide you with that full feeling.
  • Supplement if needed
    • I’m a morning person, I love to rise early and I’m most productive then, whether it’s the gym or getting ahead for the week with work. I just love being productive early in the day. Revive Active is an all-natural health supplement which can provide lasting energy throughout the day. One sachet first thing in the morning sets me up with long lasting energy for the day.

Strength & cardio  

First off, if you don’t like certain activities you don’t have to do them. If you’re not into running but want to build up cardiovascular fitness, then try cycling or swimming. Second, while cardio can help with losing weight along with benefiting cardio health and mood, strength training has benefits too. It can improve circulation, assist in lowering cholesterol and can boost metabolism.

Consider having some variety in your exercise regime by having a mix of cardio exercises and some strength training. There is often a fear that strength training will make people ‘bulky’ but this is wrong. Lifting weights is a fantastic way of increasing daily activity and improving your muscle and bone health. Try combining the mix of cardio annd weights and see the positive change it makes to your body.

Prioritize sleep

Everyone loves their bed, but do you get enough sleep? Eight hours of sleep is the goal and we should all aim for this. Sleep affects the growth and stress hormones. It also affects cardiovascular health along with affecting our immune system and our ability to recover from training.

What you do before bed can also help or hinder how effective your sleep will be too. Put the phone down and picking up a book is my best advice. The blue light from screens of phones and lap tops can affect levels of melatonin. This can prevent us from nodding off; leading to less hours of deep sleep. Prioritize sleep and you will see your mood & energy levels improve, as well as your ability to recover from strenuous exercise.

Revive Active is a partner of WellFest. To find our more and to book, head to wellfest.ie/festival.

If you want more tips, then here you go
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