Your Lifestyle Changes & Making Them Stick
You’ve Done It! You’ve Made It Through January!
You’ve made it through what is considered one of the most depressing months of the year with a new exercise regime, a new diet and a new attitude. Now for the truly difficult part, the culmination of what all our blogs have been leading up to: carrying these changes through into February and beyond.
This is the final hurdle for anyone changing their lifestyle for the better. People often forget to keep the “life” in lifestyle and bad habits creep back in before they know it. As we say goodbye to our special blog series, we’ll leave you with our last bits of advice, helping you stick to your lifestyle changes as you and your loved ones go forward into 2019.
We’ve talked a lot about home exercising this series and for those with busy lifestyles it’s still going to be the best way to fit any kind of exercise into your routine. If you feel your motivation starting to slip as the pressure mounts at work or at home, here are some tips to help you keep exercising within your daily schedule:
- Do shorter workouts – Lacking time? Try shorter workouts with more intense exercises, it achieves the same result.
- Commit to a timescale – Pick a number of days to consistently do exercise, you may find you’ve found a way to fit it into your schedule once those days are up.
- Make it a ritual – Make it as integral to your routine as brushing your teeth, it’ll feel second nature eventually.
- Schedule it – If none of the above work for you, prioritise your workout and make your life fit around it, you’d be surprised by what you can move around.
For those of you lucky enough to have fit going to the gym into your schedule, you’re actually twice as likely to drop exercising after January than those who exercise at home. The expense, the culture and the travelling time all contribute to reasons why memberships go unused, but here are just some of the ways you can help yourself keep going and stay motivated:
- Stay confident – You deserve to be at that gym, and don’t let anyone let you otherwise.
- Take a friend – Gym buddies keep each other motivated. So, inspire a friend and go together.
- Get to know the equipment – The more you know, the more efficient you’ll be and your results will reflect that.
- Push yourself – In small steps of course, but it will keep the experience interesting.
- Take rests seriously – Remember to rest on your days off, or fatigue and pain will convince you to stay away.
It’s important to remember that your health matters, and a healthy body encourages a healthy mind. So, the next time your work or a bad situation gets in the way, just push forward and focus on your body and mind. You might even find that it helps you with your current circumstances.
With the amount of recipes we’ve shared over the last month, you’d think that we scoured the entire internet for every meal imaginable, but we barely broke the surface. For every recipe we found, it came from a list of nearly 30 or 50 equally fantastic recipes that you could like even better. BBC Food and Good Food, Taste of Home, Eating Well and Food Network are excellent websites with which to start your culinary journey, and most of the recipes they recommend take less than an hour to make, so will still fit into your schedule.
However, an even bigger killer of healthy diets than time are cravings. Cravings are an intense desire to consume food and unfortunately, because of the responses they trigger and chemicals they release in our brains, we tend to crave junk food the most. You may have already given into your cravings a few times this month, but that’s OK. Its important to forgive the mistakes you make and try better the next day. Making sure you eat three meals a day can help keep unnecessary hunger at bay, as well as snaking on nuts and drinking water to help yourself feel fuller between meals.
We haven’t discussed water consumption much in this series outside of avoiding alcohol and soft drinks, but it is still a very important part of your diet going forward. Much like resting when exercising, there’s no shame in having a carefully planned break. So, next time you’re out for a meal, treat yourself to a glass of wine or beer. It’s only every once in a while, and you’ll enjoy it more for not chugging it down like you used to.
According to psychological scientists, willpower is the ability to resist gratification and short-term temptation in favour of long-term goals. Its resisting a takeaway in favour of cooking a meal or resisting going home in favour of going to the gym. Basically, its the basis for everything you’ve achieved this month.
Now while that might sound simple, there might be a reason why we struggle to use it when we know we should do better. Modern thought believes that willpower is a lot like a muscle. You can exercise it, but using it too often will cause fatigue and make the muscle harder to use over time. So, when our willpower gets tired, that’s when you make bad decisions.
There are two techniques you can try to improve your willpower. The idea of keeping something “out of sight, out of mind” works for both adults and kids. People who hid sweets in their desk drawers where less likely to snack on them than people who kept them on their desk, so keep distractions hidden or avoid them completely.
Another technique is “implementation intention”. This usually takes the form of “if-then” statements that you can have prepared when temptation strikes. For example, if you’re about to go out for a pub meal, you can tell yourself; “If the meal portions are large, I’ll order off the Lite Bites menu.” It builds up your willpower with positive reinforcement, like warming up a muscle before exercising, and it will last much longer before becoming fatigued.
If You’re Still On The Verge Of Giving Up-
-don’t panic. Keeping up with anything for a long time is a daunting prospect, but there’s one very important thing you can remind yourself of when times get tough: you have people to support you.
Struggling to exercise at home? Get a friend to join you.
Falling behind at the gym? Ask a member of staff for help.
Don’t feel like cooking? Get your loved ones to help out.
Need a drink? Share a glass of water with your significant other.
Feeling low? Find out what support groups are in your area.
Need more healthy living advice? Google it!
There are so many people out there who want to help you be healthy and happy, and if you’re happy, you can encourage others to be too. They say smiling is infectious and so is a positive attitude, so why not spread the love and everyone around you motivated.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our month-long series of healthy living blogs.
We’ve tried to cover every walk of life we can, so that everyone has the chance to live a healthier life in 2019, as well as have the opportunity to consider our many Life Insurance products. While today is your last day to get three months free gym membership with your new policy, Fuse Assurance will still be here all year round to give you a helping hand.
Our friendly advisers are dedicated to finding the best policy for you, no matter the circumstances and our customer journey team will look after you once the policy is sorted, answering any questions you have about your insurance. And, of course, we’ll be continuing to write blogs and post to our social medias, so you’re always in the know about Fuse and the insurance industry. Interested in talking to us now? Then click the button below and one of our advisers will get back to you to begin your second big journey this 2019.