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Creating Healthy Habits

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Creating Healthy Habits

The easiest way to stay healthy is by creating good habits. But this is easier said than done.

Let´s get right into it and look at my habit-creating-formula: 

  • Pick only one at a time (That´s why I will not list a ton in this article)
  • Start small with the option to extend later
  • Set an end date with the option to continue
  • Know what the habit is good for
  • And allow exceptions  

A habit is an implemented action; we do it without thinking much about it. We create every one of it with everything we do, no matter if this is good for us or not beneficial. There would be plenty of ways to implement a wanted habit, and it might be helpful to know your pattern to great healthy habits. You are very welcome to use my formula. When creating a habit, it is important to me to know that a habit can be skipped a day, and still not fall apart. Of course, not without a real reason. It sometimes can also take a couple of attempts until something gets a real chance to become a habit. It might be worth to keep trying, often it just needs the right setup.

I, for example, wanted to include cold exposure regularly. I tested around and never created a habit until I decided to take a cold shower every morning until a specific date. This end date made it possible for me the execute. I passed this end date and still take cold showers, because now it is a habit. Those morning showers made it much easier for me to include other cold exposure, like finishing other shower under cold water or going for a short swim when the water is freezing.

It is very helpful to allow myself to skip the cold shower if there is a real reason. I don´t need to be obsessed with it. Regularly, I am up before 3 am to join educational programs via Zoom in Germany when it is 9 am over there. Those days I often skip the cold morning cold shower. I will try to get some in later in the day, but if it doesn´t happen I come back to the habit, when getting up couple hours later. My point is that missing a day doesn´t need to ruin the habit.

One other fact that often helps to implement a healthy habit is not just to know that it is healthy, but what the health benefit is. Explaining the benefits of cold exposure would fill an entire book, and there is a lot of information easily accessible. Let´s cover only a fraction of what happens with cold exposure. It changes fat cells; stem cells become brown fat cells, and white fat cells become “grey” fat cells. The color of the fat cell is darker as more mitochondria are in one cell, more of our “energy factories.” More mitochondria mean higher metabolism, more energy, and less inflammation.

Another benefit of cold exposure is a better stress resilience. Cold is a stress on our body, which our ancestors experienced a lot and our body system still knows. Cold (as well as heat, hunger, or thirst) stresses our system in a way our bodies are familiar with; it brings the system out of a “stable stage” and forces it to come back to homeostasis - the stable conditions. It´s not the goal to stay in the body's comfort zone all the time. The goal is that the body has the ability to get back into the comfort zone as quickly as possible when experiencing stress. This means stress resilience is not being able to function in stress, but being able to get the systems back to homeostasis. In this way the system doen´t stay out of balance. The stress system can not be trained with trouble at home or at school, it needs physical stressors.

By thy way, that is what training does when done right. It gets our body out of homeostasis; the body adapts by bringing the systems back to homeostasis – but on a higher level.

If you like, let me know what healthy habit you plan to implement with this method. [email protected] 

 

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