Fit and fab
When it comes to making New Year’s resolutions, getting into shape is usually at the top of many a wish list. And it’s usually the first resolution that’s broken. But if you’re determined to make fitness a priority, you don’t need to invest that much time, says Coast fitness expert Jamie Milne.
“One of the best ways to implement health as a priority is to allocate one per cent of your day to making change.
“That translates to just three to five minutes a day.”
Mr Milne says often people have an all-or-nothing approach to fitness, but his advice is to introduce change slowly.
“We are creatures of habit so we have to create a sustainable habit,” he tells My Weekly Preview.
“An hour a day at the gym – that’s just too much for some. I was recently reading a research study from the University of London about changing a habit and the old [adage that it takes] 28 days is a fallacy. The overage is about 90 days.”
Given that it can take three months for a new habit to stick, the key is to make small changes.
“If people allocate five minutes [to exercise a day] – say a 400-metre run or 200-metre walk and five push ups for 90 days – the cumulative total would be massive.
“Just do five minutes in your lunch hour – go run out to the end of the driveway, do 10 squats and 10 sit-ups and 10 push-ups. Over seven days, the total might be three kilometres and 70 squats. It all adds up.”
It’s a big change for little effort.
“And then what happens is people push it out.” So while out for that five-minute walk you’re likely to go a bit further.
“The definition of a habit is something you do without thinking – such as tying your shoelaces or brushing your teeth.”
You need to stick with your new routine until you just don’t think about it anymore.
“There are three steps to a habit,” Mr Milne adds. “Let’s take a habit like drinking wine. The first is the cue –that might be you’ve had a rotten day at work and are stressed. The next step is action – which is to grab a bottle of wine.
“And the last step is reward – that warm fuzzy feeling wine gives you. You can make that work for good. So the cue would be to put your running gear in your work bag. The action is just five minutes of exercise a day and the reward is at the end of the week you treat yourself.”
Step by step
Nutritionist and Changing Habits founder Cyndi O’Meara knows a thing or two about creating a goal and achieving it through healthier habits.
“A habit is created when you do something over and over and the neurons in the brain all start to fire and wire together,” she tells My Weekly Preview.
“To break a habit, a new habit must be formed that overrides the old program. This can be done with discipline and repetition.
“Five years ago I decided to start ocean swimming. I found a local group to swim. The early-morning swim habit stuck and five years later I still get up early to swim 1.2 kilometres along Mooloolaba Beach.
“I also decided to start meditating, so I made the decision to do 20 minutes every morning before swimming. This has become something I don’t like to miss. I also decided many years ago to be more grateful for the things around me than complain, so I purchased a journal and every day I wrote 10 things I am grateful for in the day. It’s another habit that fixed.”
Ms O’Meara’s advice for creating lasting change is to start with one new habit, stick with it and then stack on new habits. “Habit by habit, step by step, bit by bit, things will change, but if you don’t change anything then nothing will change for you.”
Happy mind, healthy mind
Success coach Kurek Ashley has inspired countless people around the world to make lasting changes in their lives. And while his fans come to his seminars or read his books for different reasons, Mr Ashley says we all want the same thing – happiness.
“People think that ‘when I get the money’ or ‘when I get the relationships’ I will be happy. But happiness IS the way,” he tells My Weekly Preview.
It’s a simple concept, so why do so many people find it so hard?
“First they think it can’t be that easy, and second, the hard part is having new original thoughts.”
He says reading affirmations, having goals and expressing gratitude help to change your mindset and create these new thoughts.
“Every baby is born pure without negative thought. That’s a learned condition.”
Which means you can learn new ways of thinking.
“We have to change. The world is not going to change. We have to fix our internal world.” Take responsibility by saying ‘I am changing my response to the world. I am going to be happy’.
“Make a decision. Be proactive. Not reactive. Be committed, be consistent to that decision. Every day work on it. Invest in yourself and your own personal development. If you get a little bit better every day celebrate it. Remember, one apple seed can create a whole apple orchard. But you have to plant the seed.”
Check out Kurek Ashley’s free 10-day online course Get Out Of Your Bad Mood at kurekashley.com.
The key to happiness
What’s the key to happiness? Professional coach Paula Loveday says it has more to do with the happiness of loved ones than personal achievement. The University of the Sunshine Coast researcher says, “When we have good relationships we have a sense of achievement, like our lives are working out well; a sense of relatedness which is the enjoyment of being with others; and a sense of altruism in that we can support others. As part of her PhD thesis, Ms Loveday asked 141 people to write how they envisaged their “best possible future”, and measured their perceived levels of happiness before and after the exercise. “Not everyone mentioned health or money or success, but every single person wrote something to do with others, and it was this act of picturing their loved ones in happy situations that allowed them to express closeness, compassion and hope for others,” she says. “If you want to have a feeling of achievement and satisfaction, then it is probably very useful to set achievement-based goals. But if you are looking for a feeling of peace and contentment, you should make relationships the focus.”
10 wellness trends of 2019
- Statistics tracking – our need to track our sleep, our steps and anything else that can be turned into a bar chart will continue into 2019. Look out for at-home urine and blood test kits that can identify a range of conditions and monitor things like your cholesterol and thyroid health.
- Food as medicine – we’ll be more aware of the foods we eat, not just for nutrition but also to treat disorder and disease.
- Clean air – don’t have an indoor plant? You will in 2019 as you ditch the chemical cleaners, invest in an air purifier and fill your living spaces with ferns and peace lilies.
- Minimalism – clutter-free living is not new, but the downsizing trend continues to gain traction with all generations who crave a simpler life and a tidier home. The kitchen revolution will also take hold. If you’re thinking of doing a kitchen cleanout in 2019, you’re not alone. Health and wellbeing starts with a well-ordered pantry filled with whole, fresh foods.
- Eco-friendly everything – last year’s plastic-free trend inspired home cooks to ditch the plastic containers and parents to eschew plastic toys. Consumers took their recyclable containers to wholefood stores in an effort to minimise packaging. Now the eco trend is moving further into our lives – look out for shoes, clothes and home furnishings made from recycled rubber and plastics.
- Hemp seeds – these little beauties are rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, and they are popping up everywhere, blended into smoothies, folded into muffins and sprinkled on salads. Yeah, man.
- Vegan food, everywhere – you don’t have to head to a vegan cafe for a plant-based feast. Your local supermarket now stocks vegan cheese, vegan ice-cream and vegan meat substitutes. Expect the number of these offerings to increase in 2019.
- Mental health apps – they won’t replace traditional therapies, but these apps help identify areas of stress and offer mood-improvement and self-care techniques.
- Wellness in the workplace – managers and business owners are now recognising that their employees’ mental health is as important as their skills. We’ll see businesses offering emotional intelligence and communication training and being much more aware of signs of stress in their workforce.
- Green beauty and organic skincare – beauty consumers will continue to demand skincare and makeup that is as kind to the planet as it is to their bodies.
Did you know?
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports that around 45 per cent of Australians aged 16 to 85 will experience a mental illness at some stage in their lives. Almost two-thirds of Australians aged 18 and over, and 28 per cent of children aged five to 17 are overweight or obese, which increases their risk of developing a number of chronic conditions such as arthritis, back pain, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.