New season, time for a new healthy routine
Struggling to get back into routine after the summer holidays? Here are 4 tips to get back on track this September.
There’s just something about September that sparks a sense of having a fresh start and starting a new routine. Perhaps its memories of starting a new school year as a child, or maybe you’ve recently returned from your summer holidays feeling rejuvenated and ready to get back on track.
With the holidays over, the children back to school and a change in season from summer to autumn, now is the perfect opportunity to set yourself some new goals or get back on track with goals that were put on the back burner during the holidays.
Here are 5 tips to kick start your new healthy routine this September.
Write your goals down
Your new year resolutions may be long forgotten after a summer of fun, yet September is the perfect time to realign your commitments for the last 4 months of the year.
According to one study, describing your goals in written form is strongly associated with goal success, and people who write down or picture their goals are 1.2 to 1.4 more times likely to successfully accomplish their goals than people who don’t (1).
Start by asking yourself the following three questions;
- Where am I now?
- Where do I want to be?
- How do I get there?
This will allow you to mentally define your goals and to record them. Try to use positive language when writing them down as this will make you feel excited about achieving them.
Whether your goals are fitness, work or health related, putting pen to paper can have a significant impact on achieving them.
Exercise to help you feel energised
Summer holidays for most people often means indulgence – eating and drinking out in the sunshine and very little commitment to their healthy eating and exercise routine. If you’ve been feeling the effect of too much alcohol, lots of meals out at restaurants and sleep lost to jet lag, getting back into an exercise routine can help increase your energy levels and help you out of that sluggish feeling.
Start small by committing to changes such as cycling to work a couple of days a week, taking the stairs instead of the lift or trying out a lunchtime walk.
Get organised the night before
As the saying goes, fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
To ensure that you are prepared for the day ahead, before you get into bed, lay out the clothes that you will wear to the gym the next morning.
You could also get into the habit of making your breakfast or lunch the evening before and leave it in the fridge to keep fresh, ready for you to grab as you leave each morning. Overnight oats are a perfect breakfast to save time and take minutes to prepare.
Preparation the night before will not only free up your time but also make you more likely to stick with your routine.
Although fitting in another episode of your favourite Netflix series might seem like a good idea at 11pm, you won’t thank yourself the next day when you need to wake up. Getting enough sleep at the right times plays a vital role in healthy brain function and physical health.
Not only that, but studies suggest lack of sleep can disrupt hormone function, making you more likely to overeat – not too mention you’ll be too tired to hit the gym! (2)
Aim to switch your laptop, phone or TV off or simply place them out of sight an hour before bed to give yourself enough time to completely unwind. Setting a regular bedtime can also help to programme your brain and internal body clock to get used to a set routine.
A great way to stay motivated and to increase your chances of sticking to your new lifestyle changes is to monitor the impact that it is having on your overall health. Our best-selling tests, the Advanced Well Man and Advanced Well Woman can provide you with a comprehensive check of your current health and covers the key health markers for blood, liver, kidney, diabetes.
Murphy, M. (2018). Neuroscience Explains Why You Need To Write Down Your Goals If You Actually Want To Achieve Them. [online] Forbes.com. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/markmurphy/2018/04/15/neuroscience-explains-why-you-need-to-write-down-your-goals-if-you-actually-want-to-achieve-them/#781948437905 [Accessed 29 Aug. 2019].
Taheri, S., Lin, L., Austin, D., Young, T. and Mignot, E. (2004). Short Sleep Duration Is Associated with Reduced Leptin, Elevated Ghrelin, and Increased Body Mass Index. PLoS Medicine, 1(3), p.e62.