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Healthier Habits Made Simple – Checklist


The place that your health is in right now can be attributed to the sum of your habits. If you want to change them to better your health it’s going to take some deep understanding and more important action. The following checklist can be used a guide to help you on your way:

1.Keep a log of your daily behaviours for a week or two so that you can source where your potential triggers are coming from.

2.Once you spot a trend, record where you are, who you are with, what you just did, the time it was and the likely emotion you were feeling. After a few weeks see which cue stands out. This is most likely what is triggering you to do a habit.

3.To change a bad habit, consider can you choose a better alternative, increase the friction so that it makes it harder for you to do, avoid it completely by changing your environment or by building accountability.

4.To build a good habit, make it easy, make it attractive to do, reward yourself for doing it or join a culture that is already doing the habit you want to do more of.

5.Before picking where to start, clarify the exact goal such as “I want to lose 10 pounds” or “walk 5,000 steps a day”.

6.List all the potential behaviours that you think could work toward your goal.

7.Keep the behaviours that you think can realistically work for you right now considering your current abilities and commitment. Get rid of the ones that don’t “match” very well for you right now.

8.Pick a prompt that is likely to remind you to do your new habit. Think, alarms, post it notes or add it to a behaviour you already do.

9.Track your progress each day using a habit tracker, digital or physical can both work. If you notice you’re not doing them consistently, make them easier to do until the consistency improves.

10. Accept that habits take time to form and you will have to patience. Keep putting your reps. Every one you do moves you closer to making a new behaviour last.....

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Healthier Habits Made Simple – How To Break Bad Habit

While one habit that may not be so healthy for one person may actually be a healthy behaviour for another person. For example while watching box sets for hour may not be the best idea for someone who wants to lose weight, it might the only thing that helps someone with high stress to unwind. What you’re really trying to do when trying to break a bad habit is move your behaviour towards a different place.

Habits aren’t “bad” per SE, it’s the consistency of their effect on the person that’s doing them that causes the most harm. So in essence habits only become “bad” when they’re done for a long a period of time.

There are some real practical steps you can take to break the cycle. Below are the most common and effective ways to approach it.

Limit Your Exposure

One of the best ways to start is to limit your exposure to the triggers may be causing you to do a habit over and over again. For example, if your goal was to eat less to lose a few pounds and you find when you drink more than a couple of drinks of alcohol it leads you to binge on fast food on the way home.

Then limiting your exposure to alcohol or at least keeping it conservative is a good idea. Similarly, if you find yourself getting the urge to grab a kebab with all the trimmings each day from the local fast food joint, you’ll likely benefit from taking a different route home thereby limiting your exposure to the temptation.

Choose A Better Alternative

This one might seem obvious but it’s often an overlooked effective strategy. One of main reason e cigarettes have taken off is that have provided an alternative to smoking real cigarettes. Albeit the research isn’t clear of there long term effects, it is clear that that the uptake in them has grown massively since their existence.

This is largely because people can still practice their smoking habit but in a different way. Therefore, it makes change easy for people to switch and one of first rules you can stick buy when starting a new habit is make it easy (more on this later).

There are many ways to make things better than they were while forming a better habit at the same time. For example, many people would do well to switch to lower calorie options if there goal were to lose weight. Going from coke to diet coke, crisps to quavers, large to small portions and so on. If it is better alternative but only a slight change then this is another good place to start....

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Healthier Habits Made Simple – Noticing Your Habits

In order to form healthier behaviours and break unhealthy ones, we need to be able to become self-aware how behaviour works, habits, of course, are just learnt behaviours that we’ve become accustomed to doing overtime, and most of the time we don’t realise we’re actually doing them. Therefore, journaling by looking back over your day and writing down everything you did during that time is the best way to source what could be triggering you to behave a certain way that’s impacting your health.

To illustrate the point, I want you to think of a habit right now that you feel is not helping your health. It could be anything like sitting down for most of the day, buying unhealthy snacks to what you do at the weekend.

Ready? good, grab a pen and paper now and insert the habit

Now answer the following questions:

>What time does this usually happen? ________________________

>Where are you when this happens? ___________________________

>Who is there with you? _____________________________________

>What did you just do? ______________________________________

>What are you usually feeling? ______________________________

One of the above 5 is the CUE.

According to leading professor Charles Duhigg. The two most common cues are TIME and ENVIORNMENT, pay attention to these.

For example, if you wrote that eating too much cookies was the habit you want to change, and you are usually in the kitchen when you eat them, then the way the kitchen environment is designed is likely the cue.

The cookie jar may even be positioned at a place where you notice instantly when you step inside this location, like on the counter tops or next to the kettle. 

This visual trigger leads to a physical trigger and a routine evolves. Every time you enter the kitchen, make a cup of tea (or both), you grab a cookie at the same time. The combined taste of sweetness, sugar and fat lights up the reward sensors in the brain the neurological loop get reinforced (this is worth it) once again....

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Healthier Habits Made Simple – How Habits Work

So how do we actually form habits then? Well, first we need to understand how habits work because if we don’t then it’s very difficult to build ones that last. Essentially all habits work the same way, it all starts with a cue, something that triggers a response in which we act on that leads to some sort of reward. This is known as the habit loop system and the more we do the behaviour the more the “loop” gets reinforced until eventually, it all becomes automated.

For example, consider someone who’s walking down the street and suddenly they sense a smell (Cue) of their favourite food, the smell triggers a craving to seek out the food and before you know it, they’re getting stuck into a full-size pizza! (reward).

Now consider if the same person, walks the same street and every day gets triggered by the same cue, can you see how easy it is to fall into the same patterns of behaviour and eventually form an unhealthy habit?

This is why it is important to notice the cue that trigger us during our day, cues can be many things, emotions we feel, the people we are with to the environments we spend most of our time in – All can impact how we behave and how we act overtime. That’s why it’s important to notice what the cues are first and set your own triggers that are align with your goals.

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Healthier Habits Made Simple -Willpower Alone Won’t Cut It

One of the biggest mistakes people make every year when it comes to forming healthier habits is relying on will power alone to stay consistent with their new behaviours. If you think back to all the times you tried to start something healthier only to realise after a few weeks in that you just don’t have the “willpower” to stick at it you can probably list more than one where it didn’t quiet work out the way you thought it would.
The problem is that there is isn’t a button you can press that instantly turns willpower on. It simply isn’t on-demand, and there isn’t an endless supply at any given time.

The human brain is literally wired to seek out the highest amount of reward for the least amount of effort. The caveman and women got really clever at setting traps so that they could feast for days off animal meat as opposed to wasting tons of energy running after it hoping it would tire itself out and die.

The brain had to get really clever at choosing when you use willpower and when to reserve it. The issue with humans today is that we are often get distracted with the cognitive loads that work, family and everything in between throws at us and willpower inevitably depletes in quick time.

If you’ve ever had healthy intentions at the start of the day (or night before) but as soon as you arrived home from work sat on the couch and ordered a takeaway, you now understand that you couldn’t just press the willpower button to power you up.
Therefore, willpower needs to be treated with caution, being careful how you use your time, energy and decisions during the day is a real conversation you should start having with yourself now. It’s best not rely on willpower as you sole strategy and there isn’t enough to go around. At least now you know focusing on the more practical steps in setting up habits instead offers much more opportunity.

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Healthier Habits Made Simple -Introduction

Chapter 1. Introduction

Healthier Habits Made Simple

If you want to become healthier, fitter, and stronger not just for summer holidays or the Christmas night out, you are going to have to build sustainable habits. Habits that you find yourself doing without thinking about it. The problem is however is that most people do not understand how habits work. They fall victim to relying on “self-motivation” thinking that once they start Monday (because any other day would just be wrong) everything will just start to fall into place and they will mindlessly. I probably don’t need to tell you that adopting this approach simply doesn’t work and only leads to waste of time, money and heartache of 99% of people.

All is not lost though, once you understand the science behind building healthier habits along with the practical steps you can take to protect them you’ll be able to reap the rewards not just physically but psychologically also. The great thing is you won’t have to wait very long to build healthier habits in your life because what you’re about to learn is very easy to implement once you understand the simple science behind habit formation. Let’s dive in.

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This Doctor Says Humans Actually Need 7 Kinds of Rest

Here is a very interesting article written by Jessica Stillman I found in Inc magazine which I suggest you read asap:

We're only a week into 2021 and we've already had a coup attempt, a rampaging new strain of Covid, a halting vaccine rollout, and even attack squirrels (murder hornets and meth alligators are so 2020). It does not appear we're in for a restful year. But even if the world makes it hard to relax, at least one doctor insists we all need to find a way to reset and recharge anyway.

And that's more complicated than just switching off your brain and switching on Netflix every once in a while.

In a new TED Ideas post, Saundra Dalton-Smith insists "we go through life thinking we've rested because we have gotten enough sleep -- but in reality we are missing out on the other types of rest we desperately need" and outlines the seven types of rest that are essential for human flourishing

1. Physical rest

This is the usual definition of rest we're all familiar with. But while we know we need to spend a decent number of hours in bed to stay healthy, a steady drumbeat of studies shows a large proportion of us still don't get enough physical rest.

2. Mental rest
Always have a tornado of thoughts swirling in your head from the moment you wake up to the moment you (finally) fall asleep? You need more mental rest, and even if you sleep a solid eight hours a night, you're not going to feel fully recharged until you get it.

"The good news is you don't have to quit your job or go on vacation to fix this. Schedule short breaks to occur every two hours throughout your workday; these breaks can remind you to slow down. You might also keep a notepad by the bed to jot down any nagging thoughts that would keep you awake," suggests Dalton-Smith.

3. Sensory rest
Staring at screens all day and all night means your eyes never get a proper rest, but this isn't the only reason many of us never give our senses a break. Noisy cities, pinging notifications, and blaring music all contribute to constant sensory stimulation. Your brain needs a rest now and again. Consciously close your eyes and give yourself the gift of silence for short periods throughout the day...

Read on here  

Living the Healthy Lifestyle

You can become a healthier, happier and more successful person by making a few simple changes to your lifestyle. You will have to make changes to the overall you, not just change the amount of exercise you do or your diet.

The secret to achieving happiness and a healthier you is to balance your body and mind in harmony, it is only when we are balanced in physical health, mental and spiritual that we are truly healthy.

If we are healthy then we are happier and can reach success more easily in life, here are some ways you can bring back harmony and balance to your life
Exercise is an essential part, it helps to tone our body, keep our heart and lungs healthy and detoxifies.
Exercise can be anything from more vigorous routines such as aerobics to simply walking, pick your favorite activity and set aside a specific time of day and commit yourself to devoting a half-hour per day towards getting your body back into shape.
Eating right is the next essential step to maintaining a well-balanced life; our bodies need the right number of vitamins, nutrients and minerals to work at its best.

Making changes to our diet is easy, keep away from fast foods which contain a lot of saturated fats and sugar and start including more whole grains, chicken, fish, plenty of green vegetables and try to eat fresh fruit instead of juice when available.

Along with making changes to your diet you should include supplements such as vitamins, nutrients and minerals. Modern farming methods strip many of our foods of the minerals our bodies require and now just provide us with the basic nutrients....

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Staying in Shape – Tips For Getting The Best Value Walking And Running Shoes

Running and walking are undoubtedly two of the best exercises you can do. Even just a gentle walk for 30 minutes each day can help you to stay in shape. One of the best things about running and walking as your form of exercise, is that they are mostly completely free.

All you need to get started is a good pair of walking or running shoes. While these can be expensive, there are ways to reduce the cost. Here, you’ll discover some of the best tips for getting the best value walking and running shoes.

Take a Look Online

Typically, the best deals for running shoes can be found online. If you type in a search for walking or running shoes, you’ll be presented with thousands of results. This allows you to compare your options to find the cheapest deals.

It would be particularly useful if you had a brand of running shoe in mind. This will narrow down your search results and allow you to find the cheapest deals on the specific shoes you’re considering.

To save the most money, consider buying unbranded shoes. You’ll end up paying potentially hundreds of dollars more for branded shoes than you will for unbranded. This isn’t always down to the quality; sometimes it’s just the cost of investing in a particular brand.

Take Advantage of End of Season Sales

A great way to save money on walking and running shoes is to look at end of season sales. Shoe stores frequently provide sales – whether it is end of season or to celebrate specific holidays.

You can find running shoes reduced by hundreds of dollars in the right sale. Don’t forget to look at both online and offline sales...

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Staying in Shape – Top 5 Least Expensive Sports

If you’re looking to have fun and get into shape, joining a team sport could be just what you need. However, if you haven’t got a huge budget, there are some team sports you’ll want to avoid.

Below, you’ll discover the five cheapest team sports you can partake in when you fancy trying something new.

1.     Soccer

Soccer is one of the most affordable team sports you can join. You don’t need a lot of equipment, just a decent pair of soccer shoes and suitable kit. You’ll find most areas have their own soccer teams. However, you could also create your own with your family and friends if you’re just looking for something fun to do together.

2.     Cross Country

If you’re a big running fan, cross country could be just what you need. While not strictly a team sport, it does involve doing it with a large group of other runners. There are also cross-country teams you can join.

You will need to have a decent level of fitness for this one. However, it could be a great competitive sport for you to get into. If you make it onto a team, you’ll also get to travel around the country, depending upon how good you get....

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