For many of us January brings a chance for a fresh start. Each year we enthusiastically dig out our trainers and juicers, determined that this year will be our year…
But as January draws to a close and we have de-iced the car for the 17th time, our jeans are feeling no less snug and we really just want a chocolate biscuit, it can be very easy to lose the ‘New Year, New Me’ drive and slip back into our old bad habits.
So how can we break this cycle? Here are my top tips for staying healthier once January has slipped away into the depressing greyness that is February.
1) Start small! Getting healthier does not have to mean running 3 miles 5 x a week at 6 am. Evidence shows that little things really can help.
Take the stairs instead of the escalator (or if that seems truly daunting, walk up the escalator rather than standing still).
If you work in an office, try and get up and walk around for even 2 minutes once an hour. Get off the tube one stop early or get out for a walk at lunchtime.
Not only will this benefit your physical health, but your mental health too.
2) Set goals… But make them useful! A lot of people set goals such as ‘drink more water’ or ‘do more exercise’.
Although these are both excellent things to aim for, ‘more’ is very vague and therefore very easy to ignore…
So be specific: Drink 2 litres of water per day; play squash once a week with Jim; do 10 press ups every morning before the shower etc.
Being more specific gives you something solid to aim for and you’ll know when you have achieved it or if you need to try a little harder.
3) Be realistic. I genuinely believe that you can achieve anything you set your mind to – but it’s important to be realistic of where you are starting from.
A key reason people give up on a healthier lifestyle is that they go full kale marathon machine for a week, realise how awful it is, and then sack it all in.
If you are already at spinach and 10K’s then by all means, step it up a level. But if you’re more a chips and snooze kind of person, then start steady and little by little you will begin to see changes.
So keep these three simple points in mind and here’s to making 2017 our healthiest year yet! For further sports psychology advice please follow me on Twitter.
BY - Suzie Monk
30 January 2017