It doesn’t have to be the New Year to make a resolution – any time is the right time to change your bad habits into good ones! Here are our top seven unhealthy habits to say ‘goodbye’ to right now.
Healthy habits really aren’t that hard to form, and if you tackle one at a time, you’ll be feeling stronger, healthier and more motivated in no time at all.
Research varies, but experts believe it takes between 21 days to 2 months to break and/or form habits. You’ve already started getting into the habit of regular Pilates practice or joining in our other fitness classes on offer (if not, check out our free orientation to get you started)!
HABIT #1: SKIPPING MEALS
Missing meals, especially breakfast, makes your body look for its fuel from other places – like bone and muscle. Not eating at all doesn’t help your overall calorie intake but in fact, plays nasty games with your metabolism.
HABIT #2: SUGAR
Studies show that as a society we all eat more sugar than we should, so cutting back on sugar is always helpful. Sugar can act as an artificial pick-me-up and energy booster but it doesn’t last long and instead, you need to reach for low-GI foods that will give you slow-release energy. Cut sugar by staying away from sugary drinks and adding spoonfuls to tea or coffee. Read food labels, or make it a general practice to stay away from any processed foods to avoid all those hidden sugars. Fresh fruit, vegetables, and proteins are always the best choice.
HABIT #3: NOT DRINKING WATER
Our bodies are 50-65% water and we need to replenish it constantly to function properly. It’s a lot easier to remember to drink water on a hot day and when you’re working out, but it’s just as important in the middle of winter. Set a reminder on your phone and always have a bottle with you to refill.
So how much water should you be drinking? A general rule to work out your daily intake is 30ml for every kg of body weight (e.g 70kg x 30ml = 2,100ml or 2.1L a day). Read more about keeping hydrated.
HABIT #4: DITCHING YOUR STRETCH AFTER A WORKOUT
Stretching to warm up before a workout helps prevent injury and gets your body ready to exercise properly. It’s also important to stretch straight after a workout while your muscles are still warm. Stretching helps fatigued muscles, will aid them in recovering faster, limit strains and injury. Plus, sore, tired and painful muscles will just give you an excuse to miss your next workout and that spirals.
Pilates & Co does specialised stretch classes within its timetable each week. You can also do stretching at home, and we recommend using SMR technique to help muscles (the regular practice of SMR is better than a weekly massage)! What is SMR? Find out here.
HABIT #5: TAKING YOUR PHONE TO BED
A 2014 US survey found that 63% of people aged between 18 and 29 take their smartphone with them to bed at night. And while it might be tempting to play a little game or scroll your Instagram feed before going to sleep, recent studies have shown sleep deprivation to be linked to our constant use of devices. We’re not suggesting you live without your phone, but it’s worth banishing it from your bedroom to help switch off at night – even more so if it’s a phone you use for work calls and emails.
HABIT #6: EXERCISING ALONE
Okay, so it’s not really a bad habit and it’s not always easy to rope in someone to workout with you, but there’s a reason people always get better results while working with a trainer or training buddy. It motivates you, makes you accountable and most of all it’s more fun. Pilates & Co reformer classes are only 10-person classes so they are a great way to feel like you’re exercising in a group but not feeling lost in a BIG fitness class. We also offer small group classes with specialised trainers or one-on-ones. Want to really up the ante? Join our group 6-week Transformation Challenge.
HABIT #7: SAYING SORRY
This one is more about mental health and your outlook on life. We’re not saying you should forget the manners your parents taught, but with busy lives and schedules, we all too often jump to apologising for everything when it’s far more helpful and healthy to replace that apology with gratitude. Our founder Roz wrote an article about this earlier in the year and it resonated with a lot of members, so we thought it was important to add to the list.
Breaking a habit isn’t easy, but when you do you will feel on top of the world. Try replacing them with good habits instead and you’ll find it easier to move on. Let us know how you go!