A Guide To Breaking Bad Health Habits

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There are certain things that we all do that we know we really shouldn’t. Whether it’s eating a little too much sugar, smoking cigarettes, or rarely exercising, we all have something that – in the harsh light of day – we know isn’t the wisest choice for our health.

 

Of course, a new year always heralds an opportunity to break these bad health habits – but, unfortunately, actually defeating these habits once and for all can be a tough ask. However, if you’re hoping that 2019 will be the year where you can kick one of your bad health habits for good, then the guide below may be able to help you achieve exactly that.

 

Focus on the ultimate goal

 

When seeking to conquer bad health habits, people often focus solely on the end itself; they will, for example, say that want to “quit smoking” or “eat less sugar”. However, it’s usually preferable to reshape your thinking a little, transforming your goal into something that sounds a lot more enticing. For example, rather than “quit smoking”, you could tell yourself you’re “reducing your risk of cancer” or “improving your lung function. This simple shift in thinking helps to emphasize the benefits of quitting your bad health habit, rather than focusing on the self-denial aspect.

 

Decide if you want to take a gradual or abrupt approach

 

  • A gradual approach would be cutting from 10 cigarettes to five in the first week, then moving to zero in the second; or exercising once a week for the first month, then twice a week for the second month.
  • An abrupt approach is the opposite; it means throwing yourself wholeheartedly into the change, quitting smoking entirely, or starting a three-sessions-per-week exercise regime right from the get-go.

 

There’s no right or wrong decision here, by the way – everyone responds differently, so it’s best to make the decision on what you think will work best for you. When you have established which approach you prefer, choose a date at which your approach will begin; if you’ve adopted a gradual approach, you’ll also need to plan the next few weeks or months to incorporate the next stages, too.

 

Research options to help make the transition easier

 

Even when focusing primarily on the benefits of changing your bad health habit, it’s still important to acknowledge the process is going to be tough. You may need a little help to make such a significant change easier to deal with. If you’re looking to quit smoking, you could look to purchase a few vape liquid sample packs and a vape pen; if you’re hoping to exercise more, a personal trainer might be a wise choice; or if you’re looking to cut sugar, you could explore sugar alternatives. Again, breaking a bad health habit shouldn’t feel like self-denial or even a challenge, so utilize whatever you can to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible.

 

Make it possible to monitor your progress

 

It’s always helpful to have hard data to affirm that breaking your bad health habit has benefited you. Returning to the examples discussed so far, this could mean taking an exhaled carbon monoxide test if you’re a smoker, take a blood sugar reading if you’re cutting sugar, or time yourself running 1k if you’re looking to exercise more. Whichever habit you’re trying to break, there should be a similar metric that you can establish as a starting point. You can then refer back to this baseline metric once you’ve broken your habit, allowing you to see how much good breaking your habit is doing.

 

Hopefully, the guide above should assist you in breaking your bad health habits once and for all in 2019 – good luck!

 

 

New Years Resolutions That Are Actually Worth Making

A lot of people complain at those who make new year’s resolutions. And in some ways they have a point, you don’t have to wait until january the first to change your life for the better. Every day is an opportunity to improve and grow, that is certainly true. However there’s something about the promise of a brand new year stretching ahead that can give a whole lot of motivation and really push you to set and reach your goals. So if you do want to improve your life, now is a good time to start making plans since we’re nearing the end of the year. Here are some new year’s resolutions that are generally worthwhile making.

 

Health

One of the things people can go wrong with when setting health goals is being unrealistic or too specific. They might set a target weight that’s too low or a dress size that’s unlikely to work with their body shape. They might aim to look like a certain celebrity or set another goal which simply isn’t achievable. When it comes to health, you should be aiming to live a better lifestyle. Create an eating plan which is focused on plenty of fresh produce, lean protein, low fat dairy and whole grains, but allow yourself the odd day where you can have whatever you fancy so that it’s sustainable long term. Work out what your BMI should be, and plan how much weight you would have to lose (or gain) to get there. With exercise, don’t set yourself the goal of running at 6am every morning if you hate getting up early and hate running. Find a sport, class or activity you enjoy and do this instead. Aim for three days a week, you can build from it if you want but you won’t overwhelm yourself right away. Diet and exercise is a big part of health, but look at the bigger picture too. You should aim to sleep more, drink more water and quit your dangerous vices. Companies like Serenity at Summit Rehab Center can deal with more serious addictions, otherwise speak to your GP regarding your drinking, drugs or smoking addiction. Take care of your mental health too- the body and mind are closely connected so to look after your overall wellbeing you need to be paying attention to the way you feel too. Meditation and relaxation techniques can help with anxiety, otherwise speak to your doctor if an issue like depression or anxiety is affecting your life.

 

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Finances

Being able to keep your finances in order is one of the best skills you can master in your adult life. Whether your budget is big or small, knowing exactly how much you can spend and when to pay your bills so that you’re not getting into trouble or falling behind is important. If you know you’re not the best with money, mak 2018 your year to get it right. If you’re in debt, speak to a debt management company who can negotiate with creditors on your behalf. They can often get you reduced payments and the interest frozen. Use a budgeting app or work out your money on a calendar so you know exactly what needs to be paid and when. Spend some time getting this right so that you’re not falling behind and can feel calm and confident when it comes to your bills. Another thing you could do to improve your financial situation is ask for a promotion, change careers or do some work from home. You could do this by setting up a home business, or

 

Social

We all lead such busy lifestyles. Between working full time, taking care of children and running a house, you will often find that time completely escapes you. However it’s important to find time for loved ones, these are the people that matter so you will want to keep social bonds strong. You could arrange a monthly dinner together at the weekend, in the summer this could be a barbeque or a picnic. The rest of the year you could host dinner parties at home, or take it in turns to go to each other. You could arrange a day out or a mini break with them, whether it’s jetting off somewhere or going camping with a couple of other families. Even making the time for the occasional phone call is important. If you know you’ve been neglecting your loved ones and not attending social things recently, you could aim to sort this out in the new year. Having a support network is around you, so be sure to be there when your loved ones need you and in return you know they will be there for you. You will feel far more secure in life, and if things ever do go wrong you will have people who care about you close to you.

 

Travel

The planet is colossal, and if we only ever stay in one place we miss out on so much. Travel expands your mind, gives you a whole new perspective and it’s fun too. If your budget is smaller you could aim to go on road trips in the country where you live, visit different places where you’re from which you’ve never seen. If you’re able to spend more you could aim to visit new countries and destinations that have always appealed to you. If you go on a cruise, you will stop off at lots of different destinations along the way. Or you could go on a river cruise through cities, there are tonnes of these in Europe. You could go backpacking, or just aim to go on a couple of vacations. Either way, you’ll never regret travelling and seeing more of the world is a worthwhile resolution to make. It benefits both adults and kids and is something you can do if you’re a family or by yourself.

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What resolutions will you be making for 2018? Have you got any ideas yet?

 

TV or Exercise? Why Not Do Both?

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You’re sat on the sofa after a hard day’s work and you know you should be out there jogging or using up your gym membership. But what about all those TV shows you need to catch up on? Many of us will often choose the box over exercise. But why can’t we do both? There are many forms of exercise that can be done in a living room in front of the TV. Here are just a few ways that we could all be getting our fix of physical activity whilst getting up to speed on the latest series.

Buy exercise equipment for your living room

Many types of exercise equipment can be used in a living room. Dumbbells, resistance bands and medicine balls take up hardly any space at all both to store and to use. There are then those more bulky exercise machines such as treadmills and exercise bikes. Exercise bikes in particular allow you to sit down as if you were watching TV and take up very little space (some can even be folded away). Read exercise bike reviews online to find the best one for your living space. You could aim to keep on a certain speed for the entirety of a show or vary it up with each ad break.

Use the couch as an exercise tool

Your sofa can be used to perform many exercises. Tricep dips can allow you to still watch the screen. You could also try elevated press ups with your feet on the sofa and your hands on the floor whilst facing towards the screen.

Do squats and lunges 

Squats and lunges are great for toning up your legs and butt and require only a small space of floor. You can easily do these exercises whilst watching the TV. You could also do squats and lungs with equipment such as dumbbells or a medicine ball, allowing you to work on your upper body strength simultaneously.

Consider static exercises

Some static exercises can be done whilst watching TV. The plank is a great core workout for improving your abs that requires you to lift up onto your feet and elbows – you can do this whilst staring ahead at your favourite show. You can also switch this up and do the superman exercise which involves laying on your stomach and lifting your lower body and chest off the floor.

Use commercial breaks for HIIT training

If you find exercise too distracting whilst you watch TV, why not make use of those annoying ad breaks? These can be the perfect time to squeeze in some high intensity interval training. Exercises could include press ups, sit-ups, weight exercises, squats, lunges – whatever you can think of. Make sure that it’s hard to get the most benefit out of this form of exercise. You can then use the time in which the show is on to recuperate with a slower form of exercise that doesn’t take away your concentration.

 

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