A healthy lifestyle is predicated on a number of things: maintaining adequate sleep; keeping active; eating a balanced diet; and controlling stress are just some of the most well-known behaviours that we can adapt to support our overall health and wellbeing. However, the key to absorbing healthy behaviours is realising that they all have one thing in common…they each require ongoing and consistent application in order to be successful.
When it comes to keeping physically active and ensuring that your efforts aren’t fleeting or in vain, there is one thing to consider – as the kids would say, good habits need to be ‘fully SERC!’
S – Sustainable – Firstly, if you’re trying hard to make something a habit then you need to stay healthy. That means choosing an exercise or activity that doesn’t take unnecessary toll on your body or aggravate existing injuries.
E – Enjoyable – I’m sure you’ve seen the motivational quotes online about doing the hard thing and making yourself uncomfortable to find success…This is all well good for Richard Branson, but when it comes to exercise, it helps to do something you actually enjoy. If you like the fresh air, consider riding a bike instead of joining a gym…if you prefer to chill out, then maybe a yoga class would be better than attempting boxing boot camp!
R – Repeatable – With your body and your mind taken care of, it’s important to make sure your chosen activity is easy to access and even easier to complete. Minimise the barriers by making it close to home, easy to remember, and uncomplicated (consider preparation, set-up, and pack-down time that could become an impediment, as well as things like access to equipment).
C – Calibrated – This is an important one. Repetition is fuelled by customisation – so you need to consider if the exercise is right for you and if you will notice the improvement. Are you lifting the right weight and working the right muscles? Can you measure your progress to see your improvements? Setting both minor and major goals will keep you on the path to consistent improvement.
Yes, the morning alarm is as unwelcome as the winter chill, but if you don’t find a way to form healthy, active habits that are sustainable, enjoyable, repeatable, and calibrated (fully SERC :P) then there will always be a barrier or a drain on your motivation. Sticking to these basic principles will help you get the very best of physical and mental benefits from your hard work.
Dan White is our Myotherapist; he is passionate about supporting his clients in not only treating the symptoms of musculoskeletal pain and injury, but working with them to look at the body as a holistic ‘machine’ and identify the cause and work towards sustained, ongoing relief.