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7 Healthy Fitness Habits To Adopt In 2023

Written by: Fatimah Behagg

 

Fitness is more than just exercise. It is transformative and has the power to change not just how you look, but, more importantly, how you feel. It is so much more than just training. Fitness is a lifestyle. It is not a fad or a hobby. It is the catalyst for positive changes that can impact every aspect of your life. I work with clients to build healthy behaviours for life, not just for a holiday or an upcoming event. If you are looking to kickstart a fitness journey this year, or perhaps looking to level up the journey you are currently on, try incorporating the following 7 healthy habits to change your mind, body, mood, and attitude:

Girl working out
Photo Credit: Synnott Media

Set daily goals


I coach my clients on the importance of setting goals each day. Writing down goals can make you more likely to achieve them. It acts as a reminder to keep you on track. It focuses your actions on achieving them and helps you measure your progress. It also feels satisfying when you achieve it and can tick the ‘to-do’ item or goal off the list.


Try writing down 2-3 small goals each day. These do not need to be ‘big win’ items. For example, one daily goal might be to walk more, or perhaps to go to bed 20-30 minutes earlier than normal.


One of my daily goals is to drink more water. I recently purchased a water bottle with metrics down the side so that I can track how much water I am consuming each day. A simple thing like carrying a water bottle around all day has helped me create a habit that is now part of my everyday life. Have goals in written form and commit to achieving them. It works!


Lock in your workout


Preparation is key when it comes to achieving fitness goals. Put aside time, energy, and effort to set yourself up for a healthy and successful week ahead. I often hear from people who say, “I’ll do it next week” and it never happens, or “I’ll go to the gym tomorrow” and then it does not happen for whatever reason.


Each Friday, I book in personal training sessions with my clients for the following week, so that it is locked in and they can plan work and other commitments around it. It also means they are less likely not to make excuses to not workout and more likely to get it done. It is a form of accountability. Book in advance so that when the new week begins, your fitness schedule is in place and you are prepared.


Make sleep a priority


Sleep is a game changer for how you look and feel. It is often overlooked or underrated when it comes to health. I coach my clients on the importance of getting enough sleep on a weekly basis. To create a consistent sleeping pattern, try going to bed at a similar time each night, to support your health and fitness goals. It will help get you into a rhythm of regular sleep.

When conducting new client consultation calls, 4-5 hours of sleep seems to be the average amount of sleep people are getting each night and gets mentioned as one of the reasons people are too tired to train in the morning and why they cannot stick to any fitness or healthy eating plan consistently.

When I worked in the corporate world, it often felt like a competition to see who could get the least amount of sleep. It felt like admitting to a good night’s sleep was perceived as a weakness, when in fact it can determine productivity levels. Creating a healthy sleep pattern will not only improve your mood, it will also improve your outlook on your life and give you more energy to do the things you want to do.


Eat more protein


Protein is a key component of a strong and healthy body. When conducting nutrition and lifestyle assessments with clients, I often find that people are undereating protein. Most of the time it is not done on purpose; rather, it is due to a lack of awareness or understanding of its significance.

Protein is responsible for the growth and repair of every cell in the body. Protein plays a critical role, including transporting key nutrients around the body. We all need protein, not just bodybuilders! Whether your goal is to lose weight, maintain your weight or even gain weight, start consuming more protein. It also dulls hunger, helping to keep you fuller for longer. Try adding sources such as meat, fish, eggs, beans and pulses, and vegetables into your diet. If you struggle to consume sufficient levels throughout your day, consider supplementing. Requirements vary based on age, size, and lifestyle; however, as a general guideline, aim for 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. For more information on protein, check out this blog post for all you need to know.


Walk more


Walking is the most underrated form of exercise. If there is one healthy habit I recommend you adopt in 2023, it is to walk more. Even 10-15 minutes of walking has a positive impact on the body, mentally and physically. If you feel tired, stressed out, or overwhelmed, try taking a short walk. It will improve your mood and give you energy. It also burns calories, so if you are looking to lose weight, start walking!

As a recommended guideline, aim for 10,000 steps each day. Invest in a fitness tracker (it does not need to be an expensive or top-of-the-range one, basic fitness tracker will give you a daily step count to keep you on track) or aim for 2-3 short walks daily to improve your health.


Stretch more


Stretching is overlooked yet so necessary for a healthy and happy body. We should all stretch more, not just those who exercise regularly or lift heavy weights. It is an excellent form of recovery for the muscles and lessens the risk of injury. It may not feel like the most exciting form of exercise if you are someone who craves a high energy workout, but it is crucial for your recovery. It can also be calming for the mind and body. Try it!


Be consistent


Consistency is key when it comes to health. Often, people start fitness journeys with great intentions, but fall off plan after a few weeks. They may not see results right away or lose motivation and give up. You cannot rely on motivation. Motivation is not a permanent feeling or mindset. You will not always be motivated. Instead, focus on being consistent. Consistency is vital to making progress. Accept that you will not always be in the mood to exercise. You will not always feel like doing the work; however, you will feel so much better afterwards.


Eating a salad once or twice will not make a difference if other daily habits do not align with your goals. The same applies to training. Doing a few squats or stretches here and there is not enough. Sure, all movement helps. However, to improve your health and fitness levels now and in the future, you must do the work consistently to make a change. Try to exercise for 30-45 minutes, 2-3 times each week, for a strong, fit, and healthy body.


As a coach, it is the number one thing I remind my clients of on a weekly basis, to do small things consistently towards a healthier lifestyle. Consistency is the magic behind why many people achieve their fitness goals and the reason others do not. Remember, you will not always be in the mood. The point is to do it anyway.


Let 2023 be the year you prioritise your health and fitness, not only to get in shape, but also to keep in shape!


If you would like my help to become stronger, fitter, and happier, feel free to get in touch. Book a free consultation, and we will discuss your goals and how I can help you achieve them.

 

About the author:

Fatimah Behagg is a business owner, brand & growth marketer and certified fitness coach. She has over 14 years of experience as a marketing leader responsible for global advertising campaigns. She partners with start-ups as a consultant to build brands, and currently heads up customer experience for one client. Her mission when launching ‘Flex with Fatz’ was to combine her extensive professional experience and passion for fitness to improve the lives of others. She regularly hosts talks on the importance of mindset & motivation, and blogs frequently on all things health and wellbeing. Her long-term goal being to dedicate her marketing, leadership and fitness experience to inspire on a global scale.

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