Bringing Wellness Full Circle

Posts tagged ‘habit’

The Alphabet of Health: K is for KICKING

In the alphabet of health, K is for Kicking for more than one reason.

Yes, kicking is great exercise. Kickboxing will cause you to burn zillions of calories, and help you release lots and lots of stress. There is just something about hitting a heavy bag with gloved hands or a strong foot. If you have never tried it, do it! You might just love it!

But kicking is also for kicking bad habits. Because no matter how hard you work out, if your eating habits are deadly, you will probably get frustrated because you won’t reap the benefits you expected to reap from your sweat. And if you eat well but spend every moment of your day with your butt on a chair, your strength is not going to improve… Studies have shown that sitting for 8 hours a day increases your chances of death by 11 % and the percentage goes up from there. Sitting just isn’t pretty: the body’s metabolism goes to sleep, muscles stop moving all together and the heart slows down. Your calorie-burning rate plummets to about one calorie per minute — a third of what it would be if you were walking.  Insulin effectiveness drops, and fat and cholesterol levels rise. Yikes!

Whether your “bad” habit is sitting, or eating junk all night long in front of the TV, or yelling at the kids, or… you name it, kicking it is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. And kicking it is just that: kicking it! It involves serious violence. Because your body and minds won’t want to let go of the familiar.

The best way I know to kick a habit is to replace it with another one. Because the more you think about what you should not do it, the more you are going to do it. But if you are involved with something else, you might just get used to that something else and let go of the bad habit.

What do you think? Easy? Not at all. Feasible? Heck, yes!

 

New Year, New Resolutions?

I am not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions because I think people set themselves up for failure with them. And the more we fail, the more we expect to fail.  Vicious cycle if you ask me.

To be perfectly honest, I’d much rather celebrate success than focus on what doesn’t work…

But we all still sense the need for change, and we all want it. And the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to get moving on changes.  So how can we do it right? How can we set ourselves up for success?

This year, instead of trying so hard to be good, to work out more often or harder, to eat less junk, to be kinder, to sleep more, to drink less soda, to drink more water, to drink less beer, to laugh more, to pout less, and instead of failing within a few hours or days of the New Year’s resolution, I propose a simple plan:

Work on establishing new habits.

Tiny little habits. One at a time…

If your desire is to drink more water, start a habit of setting out 5 bottles of water on your counter in the morning so you can tell how much you actually did drink.  Simple, right?  It will remind you all day long of your desire to drink more water.

If you see the need to be pout less, start a habit of listing three things you are thankful for every single morning; I bet it will cause you to look at things differently…

I have been told that it takes 21 days to build a habit.  That’s just three weeks.

So:

~within three weeks, you could have a habit of not eating after 8 pm

~within three weeks, you could be in the habit of saying “I love you” more.

~within three weeks, you could actually really look forward to reading 10 minutes a day–and finish that book that’s been sitting on your night stand for the last two years.

A pretty good deal if you ask me…

How have YOU been successful at implementing changes in your life, and what changes are you planning in 2012?

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