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Tips to help you form healthy lifelong habits

A few simple changes to your everyday habits is all it takes to move you (much!) closer to a healthier and fitter you, one that will stick around, for good.

Tips to help you form healthy lifelong habits

Food tips

Drink more water. It's so easy and so beneficial. Aim for 6-8 glasses of fluid a day, preferably water. Another benefit of staying well hydrated is that you won't mistake thirst for hunger. 

Eat the rainbow every day. Aim for foods of as many different colours as you can to maximise your nutrients. Pin a picture of a rainbow to the fridge to remind you.

Be eager for Omega. Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for brain function, as well as normal growth and development, so aim for at least one omega-3 food source every day, whether it's oily fish, a handful of walnuts, a spoonful of ground linseed on cereal, or a handful of macadamia nuts.

Try new foods. Vow to eat at least one new Filling & Healthy food every month of the year. By the end of the year, you'll have added at least 12 new sources of nutrients and variety to your eating plan.

Grow something from scratch. Make a resolution to grow something from seed. It could be sprouting seeds or herbs if you haven't got a big enough garden for a full-blown vegie patch. It’ll help you get used to thinking more about eating food in its natural state.

Exercise tips

Train functionally. Get away from those fixed weight machines and use Swiss balls, free weights, cable machines and your own body weight, instead. Not only will you use more muscles this way, you could end up spending less time in the gym – and realise that you can do some resistance training anywhere, anytime.

Stretch more. Most people concentrate on strength or endurance without considering that stretching is also an important part of a well-rounded fitness routine. Stretching may help improve your flexibility, which in turn may improve your athletic performance and decrease your risk of injury. It's a good idea to tack it onto the end of your normal workout when your muscles are warm.

Less can be more. Some people spend a lot more than an hour in the gym or try to cram too much into each session. It's about training smarter, not longer. By incorporating high intensity interval training into your cardio or resistance program you can knock your workout over in 30 minutes or less, leaving more time for family, friends and other activities.

Focus on breathing exercises. Get out of that chair and focus on correct posture and relaxed, diaphragmatic breaths, which will combat aches, pains and also serves as an escape route from a stressful day.

Avoid overtraining. Do too much of the same thing, or work the same body parts, over and over again and you could become overtrained. Instead it's best to change it up regularly by varying your training over the week. And don't forget to alter your routines regularly so your body doesn't get used to doing the same exercises. Vary your training program with weights and consider how the regular exercise you’re doing is making you feel, not just whether or not it’s changing how you look.

Lifestyle tips

Enjoy your body in movement. Walk briskly, dance or swim. The right time for fun exercise is always now. Exercise gives you a natural high – your day will be easier, you'll enjoy more energy and get a better night’s sleep.

Choose better health intentionally. Enhance your self-esteem by doing everything in your power to promote your own wellbeing. Honour and nourish your body.

Have a dream. Write down everything you want to do, be and have. Or record yourself saying it and listen to it every night just before you go to sleep, seeing and feeling a colourful movie of your vision. Allow your subconscious to manifest it.

Connect to your peace. Build rest and ‘me time’ into your schedule. Sit quietly, breathe deeply and take the time to listen to your body.

Practise self-love and forgiveness. Love and accept yourself exactly as you are. Love and accept others in the same way. Give up trying to control and learn to accept.

Establish mini-goals. We’re only human. For most of us, it’s daunting to think about losing 20kg or running 10km. So take small steps, first. Whether it’s starting a physical activity routine with a five-minute walk or bringing a homemade lunch to work a couple of days a week, you’re more likely to reach your goal when you break it down into small steps (or mini-goals). And you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly those steps add up!