With the responsibilities that we have finding the time and energy to exercise and prepare healthy meals can appear to be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. I have had experiences working with clients of all ages with various responsibilities on their plate. Those that are determined that their health is a priority will find a way without compromising professional and personal responsibilities. Your focus on taking care of everyone and everything else and not yourself can interfere with your health. What happens is everything suffers because you don’t have the stamina to address it all. Your day is not planned including meals and exercise. The slightest obstacle will throw you off track. In my years in the health and wellness industry here are a few examples of what I’ve observed that are a hinderance to being consistent with healthy habits.
One of the common excuses why people don’t take care of themselves is their feelings. They like a certain food of drink too much or exercise is too hard. Your feelings should have nothing to do with how you approach your health. Life will constantly throw obstacles and stress our way. View prioritizing your health as a way to prepare you for what inevitably will lie ahead.
Find activities that you enjoy such as walking, hiking, cycling, yoga, and sports. Face head on the things you don't like if there aren't any physical limitations from you doing them. You’re not always going to feel like training and eating healthy meals, but if there’s nothing actually wrong, then you need to make yourself do it anyway. Practicing good habits when do don’t feel like it helps build inner strength, and afterwards you will also feel the benefits of a boost of positive endorphins.
Exercise has been shown in countless studies to effectively treat stress, depression, anxiety and even the common cold. It's one of the best remedies out there. A study conducted at the Eastern Ontario Research Institute found that people who exercised twice a week for 10 weeks felt more competent socially, academically, and athletically. A second study conducted by researchers at the University of Bristol found that people who exercised daily had more energy and a more positive outlook, which are both critical for getting things done.
You lookup one, two, three weeks have gone by and you haven’t been consistent with your regiment. With all that is going on in your life it has become challenging. For some, they’re looking for a reason to stop exercising and eat what they want. It was easy to grab something to eat that wasn’t healthy because you didn’t meal prep or you just had the taste for something. You were too tired to go to the gym and the days added up.
In order to maximize your health you can’t be easily distracted. Set time aside to exercise with the time you have available. Prepare your meals or have knowledge of the places you’re going to purchase prepared food. The distractions can’t have more power than your desire for a healthy lifestyle. It’s one thing to have a bad day, don’t let it turned into weeks, months, and years.
SHORT TERM GOALS, NOT LONG TERM
Short term goals such as the summer is approaching, a vacation, wedding, etc. are good motivators to make lifestyle changes. But what happens when the event or trip is over? Was the motivation temporary or was it a springboard to being consistent?
A challenge with long-term goals is that they are far off in the future and it will take a long time before they are achieved. As a result, staying focused on long-term goals can be challenging. You must trust the process. If you have a plan or consulted a professional that designed one stick to it. You will hit fitness plateaus and have to make adjustments. But what can’t change is your effort to press forward. Sometimes it is trial and error as you’re learning your body and how it responds.
American Psychological Association’s most recent “Stress In America” survey revealed that not having enough willpower was the top reason people cited for being unable to make healthy lifestyle changes. Develop the willpower to delay gratification, resisting short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.