How to Quit Bad Habits and Make Healthy Lifestyle Improvements
We all know what we should be doing to lead healthier lives. We’re supposed to eat more
vegetables, exercise more often, spend less time sitting, and get more sleep. But this is all
easier said than done. There’s a reason why so many people fail to achieve their New Year’s
resolutions, and it often boils down to a lack of planning. Create a detailed and realistic plan
that will serve as a roadmap for better health. Whether you want to quit a bad habit or pick
up an exercise routine that you’ll actually stick with, check out the following tips from Fast
Feet Run Coaching!
Plan to Walk 10,000 Steps Every Day
If you want to get active but you’re not sure where to start, try walking 10,000 steps a day!
Walking this much is great for your heart health. In fact, 10,000 steps equate to about an
hour and 40 minutes of walking. Make a plan to fit a good portion of these steps into your
regular workday so you won’t have to spend your whole evening on the move. For example,
take the stairs instead of the elevator, park at the far end of the parking lot, and walk to the
bus station instead of driving. If you work in an area with a high walk score, then schedule
one-on-one walking meetings with your colleagues when you need to discuss something.
You can walk through a neighborhood park or pick up your daily caffeine fix on your way.
Biking is another great way to get moving, especially if you’re short on time. According to
High Tech Fitness, five miles on a bike is equal to about 10,000 steps of walking. This is
about an hour of moderate-intensity biking. On those days when you’re struggling to get
those steps in, hop on your bike for a ride around town.
Create a Healthy Nutrition Strategy
Dieting is rarely sustainable. Instead, aim to incorporate more nutrient-dense foods into
your diet. Filling up on whole foods will leave you feeling full for longer, and you’ll naturally
eat fewer unhealthy foods. Make it as easy as possible for you to choose healthy
alternatives. For example, keeping fresh fruit on hand and chopped veggies in the fridge
can encourage healthy snacking. You could also meal-prep healthy dinners on the weekend,
so you never have an excuse to order in.
Keep Tabs on Your Overall Health
Many people avoid the doctor like the plague, but keeping regular health check-ups is
important to maintaining your health. So if the only things that are keeping you from the
doctor are fear or inconvenience, then make an appointment today.
However, some people don’t seek regular healthcare because they don’t have health
insurance. Freelancers and those who are self employed are usually top on that list, but
there are lower cost options available. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, states
implemented different programs that make getting healthcare affordable. Look into options
in your area so that you can take better care of your body.
Establish a Sleep Schedule and Bedtime Routine
Do you wake up in the morning feeling sluggish and tired? Take steps to improve your
sleep quality! The American Academy of Sleep Medicine suggests several steps you can take
to sleep better. Of these, sticking to a consistent sleep schedule is one of the most
important. Set a bedtime that’s early enough for you to get seven to eight hours of sleep and
go to bed at this time every day, even on weekends. Establishing a relaxing bedtime routine
can help you stick to your schedule and prepare your brain and body to wind down before
Use Science-Approved Strategies to Break Bad Habits
We’re all guilty of at least a few bad habits. If your negative habits are holding you back
from optimal health, make a plan to end them once and for all. Take a science-based
approach to habit-breaking. This means acknowledging that you have far less control over
your own behavior than you might think and that self-control and willpower alone won’t
get you very far.
Your brain is wired to work as efficiently as possible, and this is why habits are so hard to
break. Habits typically follow a cue or trigger which starts a routine, ultimately ending in a
reward. Hijacking this cue-routine-reward system is vital to breaking bad habits. For
example, you could replace your habit with another behavior that provides a similar
reward, remove the trigger, or change the context of the behavior so that it’s no longer
Start Making Changes Today
Healthy lifestyle changes don’t happen overnight. It can take months to break bad habits
and replace them with healthier behaviors. Whether you want to walk more often, bike
every day after work, or improve your diet, create a strategic plan that will serve as your
roadmap to success!
Whether you’re an experienced runner or just getting started, Fast Feet Run Coaching
has all the tips and information you need! If you have any questions,