How to Quit Bad Habits and Make Healthy Lifestyle Improvements

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
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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 bed.

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 rewarding.

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, please contact us!