How many calories should I eat?
How long should I workout?
What workouts are most effective?
What should my percent of fat to protein be?
These are the questions I get daily. But I think there's something more imporant than those answers. We all really know that we should be exercising more and eating better quality foods. And while it's good to be better educated on nutrition and exercise, I think it's more important to figure out how to make healthy habits part of your life. I know that I "should" eat more vegetables, take my vitamins and drink enough water. But my habits sometimes disconnect knowledge with action.
It doesn't matter if you know that a pound of fat is 3,500 calories if that doesn't translate in to daily habits to reduce calories. Instead, think about one thing you can work on each week and keep doing it until it becomes a habit. The definition of habit is that it is a settled regular tendency or practice, one that is hard to give up. That is key! We have bad habits that we need to give up and we have new ones that we need to add in to our life.
What habits do you have right now without even thinking about it? Setting the coffee maker, brushing your teeth, buckling your seat belt? Some have said that it takes 21 days to create a habit. That may not be magic, but commit to a certain number of days. Make it a daily habit and start with a small step. Write it down and set a trigger to remind yourself whether it's a note or an alarm for example.
Let's just say that it does take 21 days to create a new habit. If you chose just one thing to focus on every 21 days, you could add 17 new habits this year! Let's face it, we would be happy with just a few healthy new habits that truly stick! Break that insanity that comes from trying the same things over and over just to wind up with old results. Instead, focus on daily actions that can lead to the results you want.
(This post was written by Lisa Druxman and originally appeared on the Stroller Strides blog on 6/6/11)