We're all creatures of habit. Good ones, and bad ones. And it's these daily habits and patterns that create who we are, and can have a profound impact on our health and wellness.
Example? I have a habit of going on a walk each day - and that's pretty good. But I also have the habit of eating an entire bag of almond m&ms - and that's not so good.
If my m&m habit begins to consistently and constantly override my daily walk or other healthy habits, well then I'll pay the price in the form of diminished health and tighter pants. And that will be who I become - the guy with the belly who's always eating chocolate.
But the opposite is also true. If I continue my positive healthy habits, am more consistent with them, and even add a few new ones in, then I tend to feel and look better, and get close to living the life of the superman I want to be.
And that's true for pretty much everyone and everything. You are the result of the things you do the most, and the things you do the least. But if we're looking to make improvements in our lives, then we need to mix things up a bit. We need to be more consistent with positive behaviors (like quality sleep), or take on new ones, while doing our best to reduce the negative ones (the mindless munching while watching Netflix).
So what's the problem?
Discomfort. Unease. Anxiety. Fear. And above all, strangeness.
We often like what we like and do what we do because it's familiar and comfortable - eating lunch at the desk instead of going out or moving around, the glass (or three) of wine at the end of the day, the extra-large spoonfuls of ice cream after dinner...
Those are all just self created patterns. So what the heck would happen if you broke them?
What if you went to a yoga class at lunch, or met a coworker for a walk instead? Focused your attention on a conversation with your partner or kids or a close friend instead of a wine bottle? Planned your meals or workouts for the next day after dinner?
Initially, those changes may seem strange or weird, but once you follow through with them for a week or two, they will become your new normal. They become your new routine. And they will define who you are.
So here's your call to action. Pick one less than ideal habit, and try to replace it with a healthier one. It doesn't have to be big or significant, just a slight improvement over whatever it is that you're doing right now - like standing up and stretching for ten minutes if you're a committed desk jockey, having one drink instead of three, or eating half a bag of m&ms instead of a whole one - you get to decide just how big that change is and how far you want to go with it.
Follow that new habit for a week or two and see what happens. You may just be amazed at how quickly and easily you can adapt to new, healthier habits. And how those small habits can lead to an even better, healthier version of you.
by: Tom Trevino
Tom Trevino is s personal trainer and wellness coach based out of San Antonio. He holds a B.A. from the University of Texas at San Antonio, multiple certifications from the Cooper Institute in Dallas, and is currently pursuing his Precision Nutrition Level 1 certification. He can be found at our Alamo Heights location, or aimlessly wandering the aisles of Central Market.
Merging Art & Fitness in King William MBS Fitness has always provided patrons a unique opportunity to get a...
We’re all creatures of habit. Good ones, and bad ones. And it’s these daily habits and patterns that create…
Our own MBS trainers were asked: What is the one fitness myth you would like to bust?
I get it – you’re super busy with lots of responsibilities, duties and distractions. But let’s take five minutes…
Our own MBS trainers were asked: What is the one healthy habit your do every day?
Mutable, Changeable There was absolutely nothing that could have prepared me for the act of giving birth to my...
Summertime Madness Summer – that time of year where we tend to wear a bit less clothing and even...
This week we started all new Boot Camp classes at our King William location. Personal trainer and Air Force...
First of all let’s be clear: I love breakfast. I mean love breakfast. That goofy, tail-wagging dance your...
We all have fear and anxiety about certain things. For me that list includes: bears, a Kardashian Empire,...
Did you know that you don't have to be a member to train with our Personal Trainers? In fact, you can schedule a session with any trainer at any time via our website.
Work out on your own terms!
While it may be best to add new movements and new activities to your program, you can also get some benefit by simply altering your set and rep scheme. Next time you're in (and after going through a thorough warmup) try a 5 x 5 routine, which should result in far greater loads than your accustomed to for your 10 rep sets. This simple adjustment will definitely make your next workout a bit more challenging, and hopefully spark your enthusiasm for other tweaks to your program.
Summer - that time of year where we tend to wear a bit less clothing and even break out swimsuits - officially starts on Monday, June 20th, and if you've been blowing your diet or workout routine lately, there's only one thing you can do right about now:
Only kidding... But that feeling is pretty common. And we usually make it worse by following some extreme program in a futile effort to quickly right a wrong - even if that wrong has been months or years in the making.
Truth is, those extra pounds and that extra pudge didn't come from having an occasional donut. It came from consistently eating donuts (or following some other less than optimal behavior patterns) over a long period of time.
So, how do we break that cycle and improve how we look and feel? Easy. Go back to the basics. Make things simple. Put your time, effort and energy into these four key components of good health - those simple things we often overlook and discard but that give us the most overall benefit.
Hydrate - About 60 percent of our total bodyweight is comprised of water, and if you're dehydrated and not getting enough you will not feel or perform well, and neither will your body. Having your fluid balance off by just half a percent increases strain on the heart (since it decreases overall blood volume). Add in the blazing heat and humidity that comes with just living in south Texas, and you can see how easy it is to be behind the curve before you even get started. Active or not, get your fluid balance in check, and you'll feel and perform better almost immediately.
Sleep - Want to age quickly? Make your hormone levels go crazy? Maintain belly fat, increase cravings for junk food and even perform worse on cognitive tasks? Great! All you have to do is be really bad at sleeping. But don't just take my word for it, click here and here to read all about it. Of course, you could always just make an effort to improve sleep patterns, which will make you look, feel and perform better, along with decreasing your risks of several health maladies, but who the heck wants that?
Eat Food - Actual food, that is. And a good variety of it to shore up any nutrient deficiencies. You're looking for mostly plant based items, lean proteins and healthy fats - namely things that exist in nature as is, as opposed to overly processed or packaged items, or things created in a lab of factory. Actual foods contain a host of nutrients vital to good health, and most are calorically light, meaning you can eat a fair volume of a given item without having to worry so much about the caloric load. If you can't name five fruits or vegetables you've eaten today, then this is an area you can definitely improve on.
Walk - If you've been sedentary, or are looking to add more activity and movement into your routine, you don't have to hit a spin class, Crossfit session, or even step foot in a gym. Keep it simple by going for a daily walk. Doing so will decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and diabetes. You'll burn a few extra calories in the process, and acquire a new habit that you can actually maintain for a lifetime. Want about one hundred more reasons to add a daily walk to your schedule? Just go here and watch this.
By concentrating on these primary elements, you dramatically improve baseline health markers, incorporate positive behavior patterns, and lay a solid foundation for future body composition or fitness goals. It may not give you the beach body you want right now, but it will certainly provide a solid foundation for one in the future. And that's not a bad way to start the summer!