All posts by mkelley2

Healthy Living A to Z: K

Kick [Your Bad Habits!]

We all have a bad habit (or a few) that we have tried over and over again to kick. Whether it be smoking, overeating, nail-biting, binge watching a TV show, or a caffeine addiction, these actions that have become habits can be hard to kick. So what’s the trick? Here are some helpful tips to try and kick your bad habits once and for all!

  1. Pinpoint WHEN and WHY you are doing it. When we take the time to think about and analyze our habits, we can usually find an underlying reason, whether it be boredom or stress. For instance, overeating may occur when you are home alone or nail-biting may occur when you are placed in a stressful situation. By realizing what triggers these certain behaviors, we can begin to take the appropriate steps to find a strategy to change our unhealthy patterns.
  1. Don’t eliminate your bad habit, REPLACE it. In order to successfully kick a bad habit, we often need to replace it with a new habit. Something needs to take the place of the old habit to help us maintain focus. We can replace bad habits with other actions such as meditating or exercising. When replacing a bad habit with a positive one, we are more likely to kick the bad habit for good.
  1. Don’t try and suppress your thoughts. Often when we try not to think about something, it leads to only thinking about that one thing. This can also occur when trying not to think about the bad habit we are attempting to kick. We try and suppress our thoughts about the particular action, which only leads to having more, stronger thoughts about the action instead. Recognize your thoughts and deal with them head on, do not try to continuously ignore them or you will only be setting yourself up for the thoughts to come back even stronger than before!
  1. Reward yourself! Be sure to acknowledge and reward yourself for the steps you take to kick your bad habit, even if they are baby steps. Every step you take to kick your bad habit will help better your future. Keep sight of your goal, keep going, and remember to reward yourself in a positive way every now and then for the progress you have made!

If you are currently trying to or want to start kicking a bad habit, hopefully these tricks and tips can help. Changing your unwanted habits can change your life!

Healthy Living A to Z: J

Joy

Finding the Joy in Fitness: When we make the intentional decision to approach exercise with a positive mindset, it is possible to find the joy in fitness. Fitness and exercise can sometimes be a dreaded activity, but thinking about the satisfaction you will gain after exercising can be the first step to motivating yourself. There are countless benefits that come as a result of engaging in exercise, whether it’s an hour a day, or a half hour a few times a week. However, wouldn’t exercise be much easier if we all found joy in doing it? Here are 10 ways you can work on pursuing the joy of fitness:

  1. Consider who you are doing this for. The answer needs to be you. Goals that are set only to please other people and not specifically set for yourself are unlikely to last long. You must do what you want for yourself and remember that it is OK to be selfish about your own body.
  2. It doesn’t have to be expensive. For many, cost can be one reason why they turn away from exercising. However, fortunately, there are many other options available that wont break the bank. To name a few, running, hiking, and dancing are all free. It is possible to get your body moving without spending a penny!
  3. Try something new. Sometimes getting into a rut of doing the same workout day in and day out can lead to getting bored with your exercise routine and eventually, quitting your exercise routine all together. Find an activity you have always wanted to try, and just go do it. It can put a spark back into working out when you mix things up every now and then!
  4. Address areas of pain. Always listen to your body when it is sore, stiff, or tired. Try to focus on those areas by strengthening and stretching. Taking the time to do so will get you back on the right track for a healthy lifestyle with less pain.
  5. Focus on actions over results. Many times we set goals that can only be obtained by losing a certain amount of inches or pounds. However, fitness and exercise is a process. Thus, you must think about the whole journey and set goals along the way. For example start small and focus on the baby steps that will lead to your final goal. This can be anything such as working out three days a week to eating a certain amount of fruits and vegetables everyday. It all plays a role in reaching your end goal.
  6. Make it personal. Think about exercise as “me” time. This is high quality time specifically for yourself. It is your time to take care of yourself.
  7. Stay positive. Everyone has slip-ups during their fitness journey. The key is to always forgive yourself, bounce back, and focus on what you have done and still can do. Always staying positive is the key to reaching your fitness goals.
  8. Be a child again. We have all watched children play in the park and run, jump, and climb over everything. Most of the time, we just stand there and wonder how they have so much energy? Now it is your turn to be a child. Run wild, go to a playground, jump on a trampoline, do anything that allows the feeling of fun to attach itself to the sensation of your body in motion.
  9. Find beauty in the ugliness. Heavy breathing, sweaty clothes, and burning muscles are not glamorous, but we must learn to love every part of exercising. Thinking about how the ugly parts will bring more health and happiness into your life can make pushing through workouts a little easier.
  10. Break the rules. This is your body and you make the rules. If something isn’t working for you, change it. Be flexible with yourself; set goals, but don’t let your goals control you.

Trying to find the joy in fitness can be a journey, but with a few tips in mind, hopefully you can work on finding your own joy in fitness!

 

For further tips, see: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/finding-joy-fitness