In terms of maintaining healthy habits, COVID-19 has been disruptive.
It has forced many people to create new routines, which may include working out at home, as opposed to going to a gym. For others, simply coping with many of the stresses has been disruptive, and rightly so. However, if your healthy routine has slipped, don’t give up.
If you’re looking to revive your pre-COVID healthy habits, or create new ones, then there’s hope. Explore 4 easy practices to get back to a healthier you.
1. Go easy on yourself
It can be easy to get down on yourself for falling out of your usual healthy habits. And it’s often said that we’re our own worst critics. Unfortunately, rather than ‘beat’ yourself into shape, feeling hard on yourself tends to be demotivating. Instead, try to fuel yourself with some self-love and positivity.
Self-love comes in many forms, but a few ways to practice it include mindfulness and meditation, writing a gratitude journal, and yoga.
2. Start with small changes
When it comes to the changes you make and results you want to see, it can be easy to focus on the big picture. For example, you might say to yourself, “I want to lose 15 kilos in 15 weeks”, or “I want to run a marathon by the end of the year.” Having these aspirations to work towards is important. However, when it comes to succeeding, it can be more helpful to break them down into bite-sized goals.
For example, rather than going out and trying to run 42 km on day one and failing, which can be disheartening, start by running 3 km in week one and increase your distance slowly from there. The same rule applies for changing your diet. Instead of suddenly eating nothing but raw vegetables for example, try to cut back on less healthy food.
3. Manage your expectations
It can be easy to look at your previous levels of fitness and want to snap back quickly to that. However, you may have forgotten about all the work – over a period of time – it took to get to that stage. So don’t expect to be straight back to where you were after one week of exercise and healthy eating. Know that it will take some time to get there, but that's ok.
It’s important though, to feel you’re getting reward for your effort. Make sure you congratulate yourself for what you’ve achieved so far, and avoid focusing on what you haven’t. Two ways to do this are:
- Cross off your workout days on a calendar. It’s a small thing, but at the end of the week you have a visual reminder of all the amazing work you’ve done. You might even like to make this reward orientated. For example, if you work out 5 days a week, you can reward yourself with your favourite takeaway on the weekend.
- Put some money aside to spend on you. If creating healthier habits means cutting back on something, for example alcohol or takeaway food, you may find you have a few extra dollars in your bank account. Invest this in yourself. That might be getting a massage more regularly, or any number of pamper options. Best of all, you know it’s completely guilt-free as you’ve earned it.
4. Let someone else help you
Just because you’re re-creating your healthy habits doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. In fact, having someone in your corner supporting you can be extremely beneficial. There will be days where you can’t be bothered exercising, feel down on yourself, or are tempted to devour a whole block of chocolate. It’s on these days that having a workout buddy, a supportive partner, or a personal trainer comes in handy.
Sharing your healthy habit goals with someone can mean that you don’t want to let them down, as well as yourself – if you feel like you’re faltering. It also means they’re there to encourage, motivate and support you – particularly on the hard days.
Virgin Active personal trainers can work with you to develop a customised healthy eating and workout plan that aligns with your fitness journey goals. They’re also there to encourage you on those days where you need a little bit of help. Ready to take the first step? Get in touch with us today.