How to change your old unhealthy habits

Despite the willingness to maintain and achieve a healthy lifestyle, the reality is that will power fails many in healthy eating, and they remain stuck in old unhealthy habits.

Even nutritionists and fitness experts agree that changing old habits can be difficult, but it’s doable.

According to the World Health Organization healthy eating, regular physical activity, avoiding tobacco products, and drinking alcohol in moderation can help to prevent 80% of premature deaths from heart disease and strokes and 60% of premature deaths due to cancer.

What small changes can we make to our daily eating that will help us move towards a healthier lifestyle?  Kezia Kent, Registered Dietitian, and ADSA spokesperson said:

Hydrate: Increase your daily water intake – being well-hydrated is important for overall health. Herbs such as mint, chopped fruit, and lemon slices can all be used to make water more interesting. Remember that flavoured waters often have added sugar and should, therefore, be avoided.

Eat regularly through the day by trying to eat every 2-3 hours – Eating healthy snacks between main meals helps to maintain a healthy metabolism and can help to control portions at main meals.  Your first meal or snack of the day should be within 90 minutes after waking up.  Never skip meals.

Juanita Khumalo, a wellness and fitness coach says to get to the fitness goals you have to always have to have the 80 % food and 20 % gym rule in mind. There are no shortcuts, always aim to eat clean and exercise.

If you have a busy schedule, Khumalo says to prepare your own meals beforehand. “There is often not enough time to cook every single day and home cooked food is always preferred because you know what exactly you added in the food.”
She also suggests keeping snacks at work and in your car. Prevents you from buying unhealthy food unnecessarily.

Here are Khumalo’s top exercises to keep in mind in 2019 to obtain your body goals:

Flutter kicks- Start by lying flat on your back on a mat with your arms by your sides and your palms down. Extend your legs fully out with a slight bend in your knees. Lift your heels about 6 inches off the floor. Make small, rapid up and down scissor-like motions with your legs.

Side planking- Start on your side with your feet together and one forearm directly below your shoulder. Contract your core and raise your hips until your body is in a straight line from head to feet.

Leg lifts- Start on all fours with right leg extended long on a mat. Squeeze right glute and hamstring to lift right leg up towards the ceiling. Slowly lower and repeat for the desired number of reps.  Make sure to keep abs tight and back straight.

Russian twists – Start seated with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, holding one dumbbell with both hands in front of the chest. Keeping the spine long and the abdominals tight, lean back slightly and lift the feet a few inches off the floor. Slowly twist the torso to the left and bring the dumbbell beside the left hip. Return to center, and then slowly twist to the right and bring the weight beside the right hip to complete one rotation.

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