Changing bad health habits comes about in the same way that changing any habit does. Habits form when our bodies begin to expect certain responses to certain actions – it is not a conscious response, rather your body has become so used to it that it begins to perform certain actions or expect certain things without you ever realising. The forming of a habit is one of the reasons that some experts prefer not to offer children food as a treat or reward – over time, and even stretching into adulthood, the body becomes used to, and in turn expects, treats or rewards.
Cutting Back On Drink
Drinking is a very habitual pastime that many men regularly partake in. You may not realise it, but a very large percentage of the population drinks more than is safe and many of them do so out of habit. If you drink daily then slowly begin to wean yourself away from it. Perhaps you drink a beer when you get in from work – consider swapping that beer for something else and, over time, you will notice a difference in the way you behave with alcohol.
As we already mentioned, bad food is as often a course of habit as anything else. Many of us associate eating with reward and so it adds anticipation to eat on to what would otherwise be a perfectly normal activity. We aren’t saying that you should not enjoy food – quite the opposite in fact – what we are saying is that, if you know that you have a tendency to ‘reward yourself’ with fast food or chocolate, for example, try moving away from doing so. Maybe swap to another reward scheme or maybe just try cutting out the habit over time.
Exercise, just like food and drink, is a creature of habit. If you allow yourself to fall into the habit of not exercising then it becomes difficult to get out of it. Try and make a conscious effort to include exercise in your daily routine in any way that you can. If you can swap your daily car journey to work for a bike ride to work, for example, then you can very quickly fall into the much healthier habit of regular exercise. Likewise, if you can make a visit to the gym a part of your daily route home, or if you can make a game of football a weekly or bi-weekly event then you can up your health in no time.