We are all guilty of having bad habits that affect our health, whether it is not exercising enough, eating too many fatty foods, smoking or drinking alcohol. Everyone is entitled to doing something they enjoy, and nobody is saying that you shouldn’t enjoy those cakes someone has left in the staff room. What we should be doing is having everything in moderation to lead a healthier lifestyle. Some bad habits such as smoking can have many adverse effects on our health. It is something we should cut out altogether, but this isn’t always possible at the time, especially if you are dealing with a lot of stress in your life. If you are stuck in a rut and want to change, here are a few tips on how to change those habits to become healthier.
This is the one many people struggle with, as fast food and takeaways are right at our fingertips and it can be much quicker and cheaper to eat unhealthily. You need all food groups in your diet to maintain a healthy lifestyle and going on a diet is only a quick fix. Instead of going on the new trend diets that are happening now, it is better to change little bad habits and make smaller, healthier choices. Changing our diet suddenly can be a shock to the system, and you will just end up craving all the foods you usually eat. You should look at fast food as a treat, and as you start to eat healthier, you will notice that you don’t want fast food as much as you used to.
Start with small things such as changing your bread and pasta from white to wholegrain and using sweetener in your hot drinks rather than sugar. When you go for a meal, try to make healthier choices and try different foods. If you work in an office and are guilty of snacking, try alternative healthier snacks such as carrot sticks. Mostly, when we snack on bad foods we are eating for the sake of it or because we are bored; this is a bad habit we can make better by adding in one of our five a day.
Many people start the gym with enthusiasm, feel those endorphins rushing, then as life gets busier, the gym is a thing of the past and that gym pass is being paid monthly for no reason. It is hard to keep up motivation, especially if you feel like you aren’t seeing results, and life can get in the way, making it seem like it isn’t a priority. Our health should always be a major priority, but that doesn’t mean you have to get up at 6 am every morning and go for a run.
If you don’t exercise often, you need to start lightly and find something you enjoy, otherwise, it will be hard to stick to. Try exercise classes or a new sport until you find something you enjoy. This could mean attending a boxing exercise class once a week after work with your friend and squeezing in a run on a few other days of the week. If you are getting your heart pumping, you are doing good. Try and increase your step count each day and take the stairs instead of the lift. If you suffer from a condition that causes chronic pain, you may want to use CBD oil for pain to help you exercise pain-free.
Alcohol is often a key part of social gatherings and if drunk often, can have many long-lasting effects on the body. You may not want to give up alcohol completely, as for many, this is the norm when meeting up with friends and alcohol is often used to help us relax after a stressful day at work. If you do use alcohol to de-stress, you may want to help cut your alcohol intake by finding other ways to relax. For most of us, this has become a habit and it is known as the placebo effect.
If you were to replace your glass of wine with a non-alcoholic alternative without realizing, chances are, you would still come home, pour it, and feel more relaxed. It is the ritual of this that helps us relax and, therefore, you may want to start by replacing your alcohol with a non-alcoholic alternative or find a different method. Meditation is a good way to focus your energy and relax, as is exercising. Many people use alcohol to help them sleep, but alcohol can actually affect sleep, therefore, if this is something you struggle with, perhaps reducing your alcohol intake may help.
This is a bad habit that many people get into from an early age and is very difficult to stop. If you have other things going on, quitting may not be an option, as until you are ready and focused, the chances of you smoking again are high. You may want to start by reducing how many cigarettes you smoke rather than going cold turkey. There are alternatives such as vaping and there are also plenty of support services available if you wish to stop smoking. The most important thing with smoking is you must want to do it for yourself to have the best chance of quitting.
The most important thing to remember when trying to change a bad habit is that it doesn’t happen over-night. Doing it little by little can be the most effective way. You may not want to lose a ton of weight; you may just want to live a healthier lifestyle and improve your general health to reduce your risk of illness or disease. Even small replacements over time can have an impact on your health and the more you change things, the more you will notice. This is a great way to get the whole family involved and you may want to choose one habit each that you wish to change and support each other through it.