4 Habits for long-term health
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Have you recently become more conscious of your health due to the current climate?
You’re not the only one.
It’s actually a common conversation our coaches have been having since Covid 19 become part of our lives and brought a new awareness to most peoples of just how important their health is.
With that in mind and the fact that tomorrow is World Health Day, we thought we’d give you our 4 biggest habits for long-term health that we’ve discovered in our many years of coaching clients.
1. Physical Activity
Perhaps the most obvious to you. Physical activity is introduced to our lives at an early age in P.E. and team sports, yet as our lives go on, doses of physical activity get smaller and smaller for most.
The irony is that as we age, activity is probably more important to have in our routine.
We’re not saying you need a gym membership, but having activity within your daily/weekly schedule will help off-set age related health conditions such as sarcopenia, osteoporosis and reduced risk of severe injury after falling.
Just as you would expect a dog to be walked and exercised regularly, our biology is not dissimilar - we need that daily dose of movement to remain fit and healthy. This could start with regular walking, or talking to your friends about starting a new hobby to get them involved too.
2. Stress Management
Do you know how well you manage your stress on a daily basis? If not, try increasing your awareness of when you feel stressed, and how you deal with it (do you drink to feel relaxed in the evenings??). Stress has a far bigger impact on health than most people realise, and it’s something that we encounter daily so understanding your behaviours around it are important.
There are many methods to managing stress, but first try changing your perception of the situation. Not by using false positivity, but by rationalising the facts in your head. We often have an immediate emotional reaction before a logical one, which tends to just increase our stress without any added benefit.
On top of this, we recommend our clients achieve AT LEAST 7 hours of sleep every night, along with daylight exposure through the day. Having a well regulated sleep cycle is a great way to improve cognitive function, improve moods and therefore improve responsiveness to encountered stressors.
There is no magic formula on how to eat as healthy as possible. In fact, we can run the risk of orthorexia (obsessive healthy eating) if we try. So instead, here’s what we do know…
- Aim for a diet of mostly plant-based foods, with or without lean meats, fish and poultry.
- Limit refined sugars
- Limit processed foods
- Avoid trans fats.
It’s worth mentioning that having the education to understand a situation, and make a headstrong decision off the back of it is very empowering. This is where most of our clients find success with nutrition - they don’t have to restrict or yo-yo when they have the knowledge and confidence to eat what they choose to. Even if this includes some highly desirable foods - remember there are no unhealthy foods (within reason), only unhealthy diets.
4. Psychological Health
Mental health has become a focus for many in recent years, which we think is fantastic. It should never be underplayed when overall health is being considered.
Psychology is multifaceted so we won’t dive down a rabbit hole with the intricacies, but one of the most common things we talk to clients about is comparison.
“Comparison is the thief of joy” - Theodore Roosevelt
Try to reduce how much you compare yourself and your life to those you look up to, as ’inspiration’ is often short lived and feelings of inadequacy fill the gap. This is exacerbated by a rise in social media usage and the exposure we have to those living a desirable life.
It’s important to have goals, but make them relative to your best possible life, not other’s.
It is easy to forget that health is more than just the physical, so aim to build the mind as much as the body and focus on implementing life-time habits.
Move regularly, stress less, eat well and don’t compare.
Do you need extra guidance establishing healthy habits to reach your health and fitness goals?
Why not consider our online coaching service? Click Here to apply for your FREE online consultation with one of the M10 team.