Press Play Button Below, Synchronize Reading & Listening "Habits Podcast" *An Audio Blog*
Every day you make choices. Those choices create your thoughts and actions. Your thoughts and actions develop your habits. And your habits define your life.
If you examine many of the activities of your day, you will see they’re actually good and bad habits you’ve developed over the years.
A certain percentage of habits we acquire in our childhood from our parents and family members due to the close association and interaction with them. For example brushing the teeth, washing the hands before food, putting the footwear, clothing and the like many.
Even bad habits can be picked up from the influence of others. We start smoking so we will fit in with our friends.
We watch an excessive amount of TV because our parents did. We spend too much time on Facebook because we want to connect.
Once the behaviour is repeated enough, we create new neural pathways in our brains to form the habit automatic — and it is really difficult to interrupt.
For equivalent reasons, good habits are hard to make. We have to reverse engineer the process, mindfully adopting new behaviours and repeating them enough that they become automatic and our brains adapt.
Fortunately, you can learn the skills of habit creation and use them to upgrade your life in a variety of areas.
Here’s a list of 15 fitness habits below:
- Take a walk every day.
- If you sit much of the day, get up from your desk every half-hour and do 5 minutes of movement.
- Stretch for five minutes every first thing in the morning or after your shower.
- Practice 10 minutes a day of aerobic exercise, like running, jumping jacks, dancing, or swimming.
- Practice 10 minutes each day of muscle-strengthening activities, working for different muscle groups every day.
- Park your car farther away from entrances to work or stores.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Run or jump on a rebounder for 30 minutes a day. It’s really fun and great for your overall health!
- Find a running buddy and start running every other day, starting with a walk/run if you’re new to running.
- Take a fun exercise class like Zumba.
- Join a community sports team, like softball, basketball, soccer, or volleyball.
- Find an outdoor habit you enjoy like biking or inline skating.
- Perform a specific number of sit-ups and/or push-ups every morning before your shower.
- Walk or jog in place while watching TV, instead of sitting.
- Have sex regularly. Regular sex relieves stress, boosts immunity, burns 85 or more calories (per 30 minutes), improves cardiovascular health, reduces pain, lowers the risk of prostate cancer, and helps you sleep.
Here’s a list of 19 healthy eating habits below:
- Drink an 8-ounce glass of water very first thing in the morning.
- Keep a full bottle on your desk and drink water throughout the day.
- Substitute one unhealthy food choice for healthy food (ie: rather than snacking on chips, eat carrots with hummus).
- Add one additional serving of vegetables to at least one of your daily meals.
- Increase dark green leafy vegetables in your diet like kale, spinach, and mustard.
- Drink a cup of green or white tea daily.
- Eat small meals more frequently throughout the day.
- Substitute a lean protein like chicken or fish for meat once every week.
- Change to fruit for a high calorie, sugary dessert.
- Clean out your pantry and get rid of all processed snacks.
- Go to the grocery store on a full stomach only.
- Eat breakfast daily, including a mixture of complex carbohydrates, fibre, protein and a little amount of fat.
- Reduce your serving portions at dinner by half. Sit for 15 minutes before adding more food to your plate to see if you’re still hungry.
- Once or twice every week, eat a 100% plant-based dinner.
- Switch from white bread and grains (pasta, rice) to whole grains.
The bottom line
This is not a conclusive list. There are more habits which if adopted can shape your life and make you a better human being. Keep following our blogs for more informative articles on habits.