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Creating Healthy Habits

Creating Healthy HabitsPushed the snooze button again, didn’t you?

Changing health habits is tough. It’s so easy to tell yourself “one more day won’t hurt, I’ll just start tomorrow.” Well, tomorrow becomes next week and next week becomes three months. Ten pounds later you have gained the five pounds you intended to lose.

Aaahhhh now what? Relax, we are here to help…

Here are a couple tips to kickstart the healthy habits – physically, mentally and nutritionally!

Schedule YOU TIME: Read books, take a nap, practice yoga or meditation. Decompressing through simple tasks which require minimal cognitive effort is what your brain and body need. Make your goal 15-30 minutes a day.

EASE into it: Don’t go from inactive to running 10 miles. You will put yourself at increased risk for injury, if you don’t burn out and quit first. Start slow and light. Develop a good base then increase distance, time or weight by 5-10% every week. If you struggle one week, be patient. Health and fitness is a marathon, not a sprint.

Find a PARTNER: Accountability is key. Letting another person down is more difficult than faking a cough and climbing back into bed. Find someone, whether it be a coach, friend or spouse, who will push you to be your best. Winning is fun. Winning with a cheering section is better.

CLASSES: Signing up for class and putting it on your calendar makes you reserve time in your day. It also sucks paying for a class and not going. If you can’t find a partner to make you accountable, use your bank account!

NATURAL is better: Nutrition is simple to understand but difficult to follow. We all know natural foods are better, but natural also means extra effort during preparation. We get it… Pouring a can of Spaghetti O’s with Meatballs into a microwave safe bowl is a lot easier than baking chicken, steaming broccoli and boiling some brown rice. Weekly meal prepping is a great way to save time later in the week. If you want to see changes in your physical or heart health, you need to reward your body with proper fuel.

Allow a CHEAT day: If you expect too much from yourself there is a greater chance you will fail. Life needs to be enjoyable. Snuggling your kids while eating popcorn and watching a movie after a long work week is a great excuse to miss a workout, just don’t make a habit of it. And when it comes to cheat meals, pick quality over quantity. Dark chocolate will fill your sweet craving just as well as two of those donuts in the break room at work.

Set REALISTIC goals: Dropping 50 pounds in three weeks is unrealistic. Fifty pounds in four months is even a stretch. Think small and dream big. If your dream is 50 pounds, start exercising and making better food choices and the pounds will safely and comfortably melt off 1-2 pounds each week.

Activities you ENJOY: Working out doesn’t have to be Olympic lifting or climbing mountains. For many, gardening can be an enjoyable activity which provides exercise. Playing basketball, riding your bike to the park, and walking your dog are other good options. Whatever gets you up and moving is exercise. If your goals are bigger, find a more strenuous activity you enjoy then adjust duration and intensity.

Drink H2O: Water prevents dehydration, makes you feel full preventing you from overeating, gives your metabolism a boost and provides energy, fights off illness and helps your body function at a high capacity. Do we need to say more?

The best advice we can give is be positive and work hard. You will be better at some of these than others, but it is finding the best combination that works for you. Maybe it’s starting with nutrition and adding exercise later, or vice-versa. Any progress toward better habits will be a life change. A change for a better you.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact one of our therapists at any SportsCare or Armworks location. If you have an old injury preventing you from getting started, schedule an appointment online and allow one of our therapists to get your body back into form and function.

Good luck!