When it comes to healthy lifestyle, we all know, for the most part, what we should be doing. A lot of effort sometimes get puts into planning for new behaviours, but the real glory comes from action. So, why can’t we make and sustain heart healthy behaviours even when we really want to?
Well first things first, we overthink what we need to change. When we overthink it, we get overwhelmed and then don’t do it.
Secondly, we try to change too much at once. We initially feel really good about making the changes. Then it starts to feel like a burden and too much effort so we stop.
We make it far harder than it needs to be. Healthy lifestyle should be simple, easy, fun and inclusive. We inherently want to do things we enjoy and can master. So, if we’re making things complicated or seem like a ‘chore’, then we won’t stick at it for long.
The question then is: how do we make heart healthy living simple, easy and fun?
This where is action, not just planning, becomes important.
“Small daily – seemingly insignificant – improvements and innovations lead to staggering achievements over time.” – Robin Sharma, author of the 5AM Club
start small and build gradually
Start with a daily 5-minute walk at lunch. Or adding tinned beans (four bean mix is my favourite) to 2 meals per week. Or practice 1 minute of mindful breathing; breathe in for a count of 4, hold for a count of 5 and out for a count of 6. Repeat this 4 times and that’s your minute done! Remember, action over planning.
If you link a new behaviour with an established one, you’re more likely to keep doing it as it becomes a trigger for the new behaviour. For example, every day at work you have lunch then go for a 5-minute walk. After a while you no longer think, “I need to go for a walk since I’ve just had lunch”, it something you just do. This removes the question, “should I go for a walk?” and replaces it with action.
make it fun
Whether you choose to join a group exercise class or try one new recipe each week, adding variety and a challenge will help you feel a sense of achievement when you accomplish it. It also keeps you from getting bored. The added benefit of group exercise classes are; accountability, variety and support. These factors are crucial to help you make and sustain a heart healthy lifestyle for the long term.
don’t give up!
If something doesn’t work for you, try something else. There are endless options when it comes to leading a heart healthy lifestyle and there’s no one size fits all.
Need some more help figuring out the next best steps for you and your health journey? Contact us to chat about your options and we can guide you on the right (easy, simple and fun) path.
Need help or guidance? Book in for a one-on-one consultation with us to find out what’s best for you and your health.
Can’t get to us? Read our Telehealth Blog to find out if this option suits you better.