Christmas is done and dusted for another year. You’ve seen the New Year in with a bang, and you’ve consumed your body weight in treats of the sugary, fattening and alcoholic varieties. You’ve spent considerably more time lying on the couch than on the bench press, and the only stretching you’ve done is to reach for another fruit mince tart or the TV remote control. We’ve all been there! But, the holiday attitude has to end sometime. Here’s how to lever yourself up off the couch and into your running shoes to start 2024 as you mean to go on:
Not sure where to start? Anywhere!
Don’t wait until the stars align to begin your health and fitness program. Even if you haven’t got the fancy new workout gear or finished the next week of healthy meal planning, you can begin. Really.
In fact, even if you haven’t really decided what program to follow, you can begin. Start small by taking the dog for a longer walk, taking the stairs, or riding your bike somewhere you would normally drive. A few food swaps can go a long way, too.
Make it easy for yourself
Your plan for a fitter, healthier you has to be achievable. Not too easy, or it won’t be worth doing, but not so hard that you have to move heaven and earth to get to your goals. Preparation is your best friend! Have your shoes, water bottle, towel and keys ready to go so that it’s all waiting for you when you get up and doesn’t require too much thinking. That way, there’s less room for negotiation with yourself. Don’t think too much about it; just do it. The same goes for what you eat. If you have healthy lunches pre-made in containers to take to work, you can just grab one and go. A pantry well-stocked with other good choices will help when you’re at home.
Turn it into a habit
Pick a time to exercise, and keep exercising at that time. Pick an eating framework, and try your hardest to adhere to it. In time, it will become your new normal. But how long does that take? The adage of 21 days as the magic number required to form a habit is probably wrong, science now suggests. It’s more likely to be different for everyone and can be anywhere in the neighbourhood of three weeks to three months. But, the good news is, once you’ve done the same thing consistently enough to form a habit, much of the hard work has already been done – it’s much easier to maintain an existing habit than it is to build a new one into your schedule.
So, to recap: Start small, and start anywhere. Make it easy for yourself to follow the plan you’ve laid out, and once you’ve begun, keep going. Good luck, and congratulations in advance – a healthier life is on your horizon!
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Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/
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