For many people, establishing healthy habits may sound easy in theory but hard in practice. It can be difficult to really know where to start. The actual truth is that there are a few different categories of places to start making positive changes, and starting small can be just the trick you need to stick with them.
Healthy habits 1 | Nutrition and diet
The number one place to start with healthy habits is by monitoring your food intake. Begin by trying to cut out all fast food from your diet, and substitute them with more “real” foods like fruits and vegetables. Try to drink more water, as well, which can increase how quickly toxins are flushed out of the body, via the lymphatic system.
If making those types of changes sounds overwhelming, start by keeping a food diary so you can reflect on exactly what you are putting in your body. This diary should also include the times of the meals so that you can see your current bad habits and replace them with healthy habits. Sometimes we don’t even realise that we’re making emotional eating decisions until we see them written on paper.
Eating slowly is another way to embrace food-related healthy habits. It helps you to focus on what you’re eating and to slow down more so that you can enjoy it. Although appetite is complex, there is evidence that suggests eating slowly can lead to better digestion and easier weight loss.
Healthy habits 2 | Exercise
Exercise is another of the healthy habits most people focus on when creating a cleaner lifestyle. The problem is, they often start out too intensely and end up derailing their progress shortly thereafter.
The best way to begin is just by knowing what the recommendations are for a quality exercise routine. According to ACSM’s guidelines for exercise quality and quantity, adults should be doing (or aiming to do) a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise per week and 2-3 days of resistance training every week where all major muscle groups are targeted.
Most importantly, be patient with yourself. Exercise is not easy to physically do or to be consistent with, especially if you’ve never done it before. It can take your body a while to adjust, so don’t give up. For more information on exercise guidelines, click here or consult your GP or Exercise Physiologist.
Healthy habits 3 | Therapeutic massage
The last of our healthy habits is one that most people don’t think about but receiving a therapeutic massage can significantly improve both the physical and mental health of an individual.
There are multiple different types of therapeutic massage available, depending on what physical issues you may or may not be experiencing. Options like a relaxation massage, deep tissue massage, reflexology, neuromuscular massage, craniosacral massage, reiki, and hot stone massage each help the body and mind.
Therapeutic massage promotes healthy habits by helping to manage stress, anxiety, depression, pain, chronic lung disease, digestive issues, and injuries. With all of those concerns out of the way, you can really focus more on yourself. In addition, it can help with the discomfort of the aches and pains, otherwise referred to as DOMS, that come with increasing or starting a new exercise routine.
Healthy habits can make people feel overwhelmed, but they are easy to make once you know the best ways to enact those changes. Focus on a few simple categories, like food, exercise, and taking care of your body with therapeutic massage, to start. Remember to start small, aim for consistency and reward yourself along the way. The sooner you begin, the sooner you will be thanking yourself for it.