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Thursday, 7 April 2011

Developing Good health habits


We all know someone who is always saying that they are going to “get into shape”.
But, they never do.
They know what to do, but they just don’t do it.
Basically, the opposite of Nike
 4 Steps to Developing Health Habits
So, how do we get them to do it?
Glad you asked.
This study found that individuals who focused on behavior-changing strategies were much more successful than those people forced to endure their doctor’s cognitive approach to behavior change.
Instead of attempting to change their knowledge, beliefs and attitudes surrounding exercise and healthy eating, study participants were successful at increasing their physical activity levels by implementing 4 simple strategies:

Goal Setting

Setting SMART fitness goals involves 5 steps:
S – A specific fitness goal could be a walk each morning before breakfast.
M – For a goal to be measurable, you should define how far you are going to walk and how often you will perform the workout
A – To be achievable, you should start off with a task that you can achieve, knowing that the distance / intensity will increase as for fitness improves.
R – To be relevant, your goal should be in tune with your overall fitness goal – weight loss, improved blood pressure, etc.
T – To avoid ‘accidentally’ missing a workout, you should arrange a specific exercise appointment in your daily calendar.

Stimulus or Cues

Establish physical reminders to encourage yourself to exercise – Pack your gym bag and leave it by the front door every night, leave yourself notes encouraging yourself to work out, schedule your workout into your electronic schedule with an alarm, ask friends or family to call and remind you…really any reminder will help.

Self Monitoring

Keep a workout and/or food log book. It’s tough at first, but it pays off in the end.

Feedback

Reward yourself with a non-food based treat when you succeed. The rewards should become larger / more important to match the degree of fitness success.
Successfully completing today’s workout deserves a small treat, but not missing a workout for 3 months deserves a really big pat on the back.

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