Habit Stacking for Holistic Health

Habit Stacking for Holistic Health

Let’s face it, we all know what we should be doing more of and what we should be doing less of. But if only it was that easy! Getting started is the hardest part. However, our expectations of breaking bad habits and starting new ones is unrealistic. We are inherently impatient wanting results quickly, but the harsh reality is that everything takes TIME. We are also inherently lazy creatures and always move away from pain and towards pleasure and tend to take the path of least resistance. However, if we were to always do this, we probably wouldn’t achieve much would we?

Habit stacking is one of the most effective ways to create healthier lifestyle habits. Chiropractic care help you in this pursuit. In this blog I want to specifically talk about exercise, but these principles can be applied to anything really. In practice we often talk about the three-legged stool to getting better results faster (I know, I just mentioned above that this takes time but just roll with me for a minute). Firstly, get your spine checked and adjusted by a chiropractor to remove any interference from your nervous system which could be potentially stopping your body from achieving optimal performance and causing you symptoms and pain. Secondly, break the bad habits that landed you in this predicament, specifically the way you sit, sleep and stand. And thirdly, get moving and exercise. It’s the third leg of this stool I find my clients have the most trouble with.

If your body is uncomfortable, sore, lacking energy and out of alignment, it’s a no wonder you don’t feel like exercising! Refer to leg number 1. If you want to stop this reoccurring, refer to legs 2 & 3. Easier said than done. So let me share with you a few tips and tricks I have up my sleeve that have helped me and my patients.

Find something you like and enjoy! If you don’t like going to gymnasiums, then don’t! Play basketball, go surfing, or go salsa dancing. As long as you’re moving and spending less time at the desk or on the couch. Any kind of movement is great.

Find something that fits into your day easily. Perhaps your workplace offers lunch time pilates classes, or there’s a gym down the road from where you live or cycling to and from work is an option. The fact is, if there is any level of resistance, you won’t go. I personally like to train first thing in the morning. It gets it out of the way, no other task takes priority at 6am in the morning, and it means I can’t make excuses in the afternoon to get out of going. Side note: getting up early requires going to bed early. It’s the only way.

Organisation and planning is also extremely necessary. The saying goes ‘fail to prepare, then prepare to fail’. Pack your gym clothes the night before and have your lunch ready to grab from the fridge in the morning. It’s the little things that save time and make it easier to achieve your goals. On the flip side, prepare to fail sometimes. You’re only human, life happens and we aren’t always going to get it right 100% of the time. Just as long as when you do fail, you get back on and go again!

If you need help being kept accountable, organise to go with friends. You don’t want to let them down or be embarrassed for not turning up. And perhaps committing to a package or a membership will help keep you accountable. You won’t want to see that money wasted so you may be more motivated to use it if you’re paying for it.

Getting started is the hardest part. And I think quantity over quality at the beginning is key. 15-20 mins of exercise each day is perfect. You might be sore, tired or hungry but it’s only 20 minutes. ‘I don’t have enough time’ is the most common excuse of them all. But surely you can find 20 mins in your day? And it doesn’t have to be intense. A short jog around the block or a booty buster video on youtube in your lounge room. Just get the 20 mins done and then get on with the rest of your day. And eventually you can increase it as you build your fitness levels.

Be realistic about the expectations you have for your results. I know when I did F45 12 week challenges I was always upset with the results at the completion of the challenge. I did not look dramatically different and had only lost a minimal amount of weight – when you consider the amount of hard work that went into it. But when I looked at my progress of all the challenges put together over a period of 2 years, I noticed if I compared the first to the last challenge the results were quite impressive. This made me realise this was a process that was going to take time, and with each challenge I got better and better at doing the work.

At the end of the day, I think it’s important to realise that with health it’s about retaining what you currently have and not trying to look or be drastically different. We want to slow down the aging process. Remember it’s easier to maintain it then to try and get it back.

You’ll be amazed how over time this will become less and less of an effort and just become part of your regular routine. Our bodies were made to move, so get that ball rolling and you’ll see that once you gain momentum the effort is actually minimal. 

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Wishing you all good health from Rebecca Squire. 

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