Build one healthy habit into your daily life.
Harj, a 41 year old solicitor, moved to Southampton from Brighton with her husband and 2 1/2 year old son, a week before Dillon was born. Finding time to exercise whilst trying to maintain a work life balance is something with which many of us can empathise.
Before Dillon, Harj worked out 2-3 times a week; running on a Saturday and going to the gym at the weekend. In fact she did Boxercise right through until she was 7 months pregnant with Dillon. Transitioning from this level of activity to doing no exercise was a huge shock for Harj and before long some unhealthy habits started to make an appearance.
In addition to no exercise, take away meals and packets of biscuits at work were routine – Harj knew something had to change. When Dillon was 6 months old, once her husband returned home from work, Harj took up running again. Feeling more positive, she then joined a Southampton Parklives BuggyMums group on the recommendation of a neighbour, a session she has now been attending every Wednesday for the last 2 years.
In addition to being free, BuggyMums is a great opportunity to combine exercise with meeting other local mums, and it’s now Harj’s main way of keeping fit as it falls on a non working day. It’s a positive habit and an activity that Harj and Dillon enjoy together, outdoors in the fresh air.
Harj’s good intentions to eat healthily fell by the wayside after Dillon was born, with takeaways and ready meals quickly becoming bad habits.
Nowadays she tries to cook from scratch and frequently rustles up curries and risottos for the family.
“It’s much easier to make more of an effort now I’m not working full time” Harj told us.
Not surprisingly, Harj feels much healthier now she is more active and eating more healthily.
She really looks forward to her Wednesday Buggymums session and enjoys the contrast to her day to day work in Brighton.
In addition to feeling healthier, Harj told us that after exercising she’s in a much better mood for the rest of the day.
If Harj could pass on one piece of advice it would be to build in one healthy habit into our daily lives.
By picking one healthy habit, you’re less likely to quit. As it becomes more ingrained, you can then introduce another positive habit and build them up gradually.
When I first started getting back into exercise, commiting to an hour of exercise each Wednesday was enough for me to focus on. After feeling the benefits I then started to introduce more activities like running.