Many people have goals to live healthier lifestyles through nutrition and exercise. The desire to change is often reflected by good intentions to adopt new behaviors such as eating foods that are good for you and exercising every day. However, unhealthy habits may easily override an individual’s good intention. Here are a few helpful tips to make small changes that will make large differences.
- Place Exercise Clothing on the Couch
- Put exercise equipment (dumbbells stationary bike) where you engage in sedentary behavior
- Join a gym that is located between work and home
- Buy single servings of soda rather than one-liter bottles
- Place snacks in single-serving baggies
- Make healthy snacks more noticeable than unhealthy snacks
- Create a pantry that is not near the kitchen or television
Strong habits, good or bad, are performed frequently in the same context whereas weak habits are performed irregularly. Making conscious decisions to eat better and exercise more may not be enough. It is far easier to engage in sedentary pursuits than physical activity. When physical activity alternatives are convenient compared to inconvenient sedentary activities, people spend increased time being physically active.
Bad habits such as unhealthy eating provide instantaneous reinforcement, while healthy eating and exercise requires a long term commitment to realize benefits. These modifications may help prevent unwanted behaviors and encourage healthy ones.
By Brandon Ayala, CSCS