HEALTHY HABITS TO CARRY INTO FEBRUARY AND BEYOND
Goodbye January and HELLO February!
I'm sure many of you can agree, January is a time to set good intentions for the year, make a start on or continue pursuing goals, however, the month certainly drags on quite a bit after the excitement of Christmas!
With that in mind, most reading this have been hard working on their fitness journey the last few weeks and have made positive changes to daily routines and started implementing healthy daily habits that will lead you into a successful year. If you've been waiting to start your exercise or gym routine until the morning start getting lighter then that's also fine but we recommend starting to think about or plan some of the things you'd like to achieve this year.
Now is the time to continue developing habits and working towards daily and weekly goals, as it's the small changes that make the biggest difference overall.
Make time to move every day
This one goes without saying, but if you've been staying relatively active you will have felt the difference in yourself by moving more. That can be as simple as getting out for a walk, a run, stretch or getting yourself in the gym for a strength workout.
You'll feel amazing for it- you'll have a much better day in general and find yourself with higher levels of energy and motivation. Aim to get around 30 minutes of activity or exercise each and every day, how you choose to do this is completely up to you. Whether it's a walk, a bike ride, a workout or anything in between, you will not regret this one!
Do something for yourself (and others!)
Set aside some time out of your busy life each and every day and dedicate it to yourself. It could be listening to your favourite song, a skincare routine, watching an episode of your favourite show, a bath, or 5 minutes of peace and quiet.
Whatever it is, try to do this as much as possible. You have to look after yourself to be your best self, after all. You will feel happy, accomplished and refreshed for doing it, leaving you feeling happier overall. When you do this enough, it can help keep you more in touch with what your mind and body wants and needs.
Equally important is doing something for someone close to you or even a stranger, you will feel just as good as they do on the receiving end. This can be as simple as smiling at someone in the street, making a cup of coffee for your partner before heading off to work, sending a loved one a nice message etc.
Small and easy acts of kindness like this go a long way and can really set the mood for someone's day. Making someone smile is a sure way to make both of you happy.
Drink more water
Another simple daily habit is to hydrate yourself optimally. Drinking more water has many, many benefits that I have covered in previous blog posts you can find on Portsides page. Being even the slightest bit dehydrated can have effects on your body, focus and overall energy.
Aim to drink small amounts of water frequently throughout the day. If you exercise, you may need more than the average person to compensate for water lost through perspiration. Aiming for up to 3 litres of water per day is certainly a great starting point.
Reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption
We all know there are no benefits to drinking too much alcohol. You may have actively taken part in ‘dry Jan’ and if this is the case I am sure you have experienced higher levels of energy, reduced fatigue, more concentration and overall feel much better and energised than before.
If this is the case, keep up the good work and keep alcohol out of your daily/weekly routine and you will continue to feel the great benefits. If it is something you don't want to do, take a look at your personal alcohol consumption and reduce it where possible. Read our post on alcohol and training to get an idea of how it might affecting your efforts in the gym.
Journal your experience and note where you feel the positive impact on your daily routine the most, assess and see if it is something that will be of benefit to you in the long run…
Cook homemade meals
Cooking homemade meals is a great and easy way to stay on top of your nutrition, ensuring you are eating all the vital nutrients your body needs and knowing exactly what is in your food. This is a great way to keep calories under control and know where you are at on a daily basis.
Try to limit or cut out processed foods, takeaways and meals out where possible. If you have to, attempt to choose options that will align with your goals as best as possible.
On the plus side, cooking fresh, homemade meals can be fun and relaxing. Time taken away from a screen, work etc. to focus on the task at hand and enjoy it at the end!
If you need a bit of inspiration for cooking healthy and wholesome meals, check out our recipe packs here.
Good quality sleep
Another habit that we've written about many, many times in the past is sleep. Make sure you are getting at least 6-8 hours of quality sleep per night. Creating and maintaining a healthy routine can help here.
For example, reduced/no screen time 1 hour before bed, same sleep/wake time each day if possible, no caffeine after midday, making the bedroom as cool/relaxing as possible.
Something easy and beneficial but often overlooked to do is practising gratitude. This may be something you already do and if so, I advise you to keep it up. If not, implement it and see how much better your days become.
Every morning try journaling how you feel upon waking, 3 things you are grateful for and something that will make your day great. By doing this, you are starting the day with a positive mindset and setting clear intentions for the day.
You may even take it one step further, at the end of the day, reflect on how your day went and if your day was in fact great. By just doing these simple things, you will lead a happier and healthier life.