The Top 5 habits for a fitter lifestyle from Wikizine's fitness expert. When I was approached by the Wikizine team, they wanted me to write an article on health & fitness – a guide for people wanting to get back in shape and feel good about themselves.
“No problem” was my instant reply. I’ve been a successful Personal Trainer & Life Coach for years, pounding the pavements and ‘feeling the burn’ with hundreds of different clients. However, I’m not sure they quite expected what you’re about to read….
Scientists have discovered that eating a healthy, balanced diet and exercising regularly will make you look and feel great! I’m sorry. That was childish. Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit and I do apologise, but I don’t want to insult your intelligence and act like I have some amazing secret that only a privileged few know.
I’m positive that I could fill a picnic table with ten healthy food items and ten items of junk food and everyone reading this article could separate the two. Likewise, I’m sure you can remember a time that you may have taken the dog for a long walk or been for a swim with the kids and felt great about yourself and the body that allowed you to do so.
So the ‘answer’ to being healthy and fit is very, very simple. Wait a minute – I’m going to talk myself out of a job in a minute if I’m not careful! But it’s true. Any Personal Trainer trying to tell you that you need them to get fit and stay fit is a LIAR. Harsh but true. A Personal Trainer can be a vital tool in getting the ball rolling (sometimes literally) but ultimately their job is to make you realise that you have all the answers.
So what is going ‘wrong’ at the moment??? Why don’t I look like Cheryl Cole or David Beckham???
“Men’s natures are alike; it’s their habits that separate them.” Confucius ~ Analects.
Habits. That’s what’s going on here. Just focus on that word for a while and think about your own habits. There will be the obvious ones like smoking, drinking, nail-biting – but also habits you’re perhaps unaware of. So take a few moments now to assess what you ‘tend to do without realising’. Maybe write it down if it helps?
“I’m not a morning person.” “I’m just lazy.” “My parents told me to always finish my dinner.” “I need a glass of wine of an evening to help me relax and unwind.” “I’ll take the car because it might rain”.
There is an old Spanish proverb that states “Habits are at first cobwebs – then cables.” Oh dear. I don’t like the sound of cables. I know habits can feel like cables – tying us down involuntarily and making us do things we don’t want to. However, there is also a new proverb that I’m going to tell you about and it will hopefully be the start of something really amazing in your life:
“Habits may seem like cables but are actually cobwebs.”
Oh yeah! I like the sound of that one much better. All those things that were controlling us and preventing us from being fit, healthy and happy are actually no more than old cobwebs that can be brushed off with no effort and banished for good! Hallelujah!
It is that simple. Once you can turn something around in your mind – there is no stopping you. I remember working with one client who was struggling with her weight and getting pretty depressed about it. She had developed several habits including overeating, a bottle of wine a night, driving everywhere and never walking etc. It took me one session and a beautiful walk along the sea-front for her to realise she loved being outdoors, in the fresh air and moving! One session and she was ‘cured’. From then on she couldn’t be stopped. Cycling, swimming, fell-walking – she had just forgotten that she loved nature and had fallen into this ‘pit of cables’.
Your mind and in particular your imagination is the greatest gift you’ve ever been given. Use your imagination now and see yourself thinner, healthier or whatever your goal may be. How does it feel to be wearing that little black dress? How does it feel to finish that 5k charity race? What do you look like now you’ve been avoiding junk food for months?
Feels good doesn’t it? That is your challenge for September. To asses your habits and start using your imagination. I’m sure you had no problems using your imagination when you were little? We could all lie in bed as kids and visualize ourselves as astronauts, Olympic athletes or princesses. Try and remember how you used to do that because when you do – it’s frightening what you can achieve.
Hopefully I’ve given you some food for thought and I’ll be with you again in October’s edition of Wikizine, but in the mean time, here is my Top 5 Habits that I advise all my clients to adopt ASAP:
- Drink water. Drink water. Drink water. Drink water. (repetition for emphasis)
- Set your alarm ten minutes earlier and start the day with something positive like meditation, stretching, press-ups or even lying in bed and using your imagination. “The morning breeze has secrets to tell” – so get out there for a walk or jog if you can.
- Carry some healthy nibbles on you or in your car to prevent the dreaded ‘junk food snack’. I’m talking about nuts, fruit or cereal bars. My car always has little Innocent Smoothie bottles rattling around in the footwell.
- Try and ‘catch yourself in the moment’. There is always a couple of seconds before we open the wine bottle that something says “do I really want this – I know how this makes me feel tomorrow.” Try and grasp that moment and take charge – selecting an option that you know makes you feel good.
- Eat slowly and really chew every mouthful. You might actually taste something!