We all know what we SHOULD do to be healthy, fit, and at our best: we should eat 5-7 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables every day, we should get at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily, we should not smoke, we should avoid processed foods/trans fats/alcohol/sugar…
But, let’s face it most of us have a vice or 2 (or more), that keep us from reaching the peak of our health and wellness. While many of these vices seem pretty harmless while we are doing them they can pose long term threats to our health. Yep, that burger and fries you ate this weekend will come back to haunt you in your 70s (or sooner). That is why it is important to get a handle on our bad habits as well as create new good habits.
Slowly and mindfully is a great way to eat less, but it’s impact is limited if your “healthy routine” still consists of fast-food, beer, and 15 hour video game marathons.
This week I am offering you a challenge. Pick one of your bad habits, just one, and over the next week take steps to change it.
- If you are a coach potato, make it your goal to go for a walk around your neighborhood every day this week. You can even start with 10 minutes if that is all you can handle.
- If you never eat vegetables, start adding 1-2 servings of veggies to one of your meals daily.
- If you are a smoker, cut the number of cigarettes/vapes you have by 5-10% this week.
- If your an overeater, make a conscious effort to cut back on your portion sizes by 15-20% at each meal.
- If you can’t make it through the day without 3-4 cups of coffee, replace 1 of them with a decaf.
- If you regularly wake up Sunday morning with a raging hangover, cut back a drink or 2 the next Saturday.
The point isn’t to completely stop your bad habit in one fell swoop, but rather to slowly ween yourself off of the bad habit and slip gently into a better one. Changing habits takes time and patience. Be kind to yourself and pat yourself on the back for each little bit of progress you make.
The first few days of this may be rough and you may even feel a tad bit icky, but I promise as the week progresses you will start to feel better.
Give it a try. What do you have to lose except your bad habits.