Improving Your Eating Habits

If you have made a commitment to increasing your physical activity, a natural next step is to look at your eating habits. When it comes to eating, we have strong habits. Some are good (“I always eat breakfast”), and some are not so good (“I always clean my plate”). Permanently improving your eating habits requires a thoughtful approach in which you Reflect, Replace, and Reinforce.

  • REFLECT on all of your specific eating habits, both bad and good; and, your common triggers for unhealthy eating.
  • Create a list of your eating habits.  What you eat, when you eat, where you eat and are there common feelings that lead you to eat.
  • Highlight the habits on your list that may be leading you to overeat or make unhealthy choices.
  • Create a list of “cues” to become more aware of when and where you’re “triggered” to eat for reasons other than hunger.
  • REPLACE your unhealthy eating habits with healthier ones. Don’t change everything you identified that could be improved. Choose one or two habits to change at a time so you are not overwhelmed with the changes. Plan your shopping list and your meals ahead of time to ensure that you eat a healthy well-balanced meal.
  • REINFORCE your new, healthier eating habits and be patient with yourself. Habits take time to develop. It doesn’t happen overnight. If you slip back into your old habits, don’t give up, just begin again.

Overcoming Barriers to Physical Activity

Run the Plank is a good motivator to increase of begin a consistent physical activity routine. Sometimes it’s just hard to get started, we have so many barriers to adding physical activity to our schedule. Here are some common barriers and ways to overcome them.

  • Lack of time: Monitor your daily activities for one week. Identify at least three 30-minute time slots you could use for physical activity.
  • Social influence: Invite friends and family members to exercise with you. Plan social activities involving exercise.
  • Lack of energy: Schedule physical activity for times in the day or week when you feel energetic.
  • Lack of motivation: Plan ahead. Make physical activity a regular part of your daily or weekly schedule and write it on your calendar.
  • Fear of injury: Learn how to warm up and cool down to prevent injury. Choose activities involving minimum risk.
  • Lack of skill: Select activities requiring no new skills, such as walking, climbing stairs, or jogging.
  • Lack of resources: Select activities that require minimal facilities or equipment.
  • Weather conditions: Develop a set of regular activities that are always available regardless of weather (indoor cycling, aerobic dance, indoor swimming, calisthenics, stair climbing, rope skipping, mall walking, dancing, gymnasium games, etc.)
  • Travel: Put a jump rope in your suitcase and jump rope. Walk the halls and climb the stairs in hotels.
  • Family obligations: Exercise with the kids-go for a walk together, play tag or other running games, get an aerobic dance or exercise tape for kids and exercise together.
  • Retirement years: Look upon your retirement as an opportunity to become more active instead of less. Spend more time gardening, walking the dog, and playing with your grandchildren.

Activity Article

Run the Plank – A great way to help the community and improve your wellbeing

We know that staying active is one of the best ways to keep our bodies healthy. But did you know it can also improve your overall well-being and quality of life?

Here are just a few of the ways physical activity can help you feel better, look better and live better.

  • It’s a natural mood lifter. Regular physical activity can relieve stress, anxiety, depression and anger. Most people notice they feel better over time as physical activity becomes a regular part of their lives.
  • It keeps you physically fit and able. Without regular activity, your body slowly loses its strength, stamina, and ability to function properly.
  • It helps keep the doctor away. Too much sitting and other sedentary activities can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.

The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate activity each week. That’s only 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. And three 10-minute brisk walking breaks count toward your goal.

You don’t have to make big life changes to see the benefits. Just start building more activity into your day, one step at a time.