This could be the beginning: Take a little jog in the park before the workday starts, grab some vegetable casserole in the canteen with fries and do some yoga exercises on the living room carpet before you go to dinner. That sounds convincing, but how does one move from couch potato life to an active and healthy lifestyle?
Benefits of a healthy lifestyle
Good arguments are a first step. Remember that changing your lifestyle will do you good for your health and your beauty as well:
- The muscles become firmer and better able to absorb the oxygen from the blood.
- The bones become stronger and break less easily.
- Heart and circulation are strengthened, blood pressure and blood lipid levels drop.
- Sleep disorders and depression decrease.
- Stress is better absorbed.
- Life expectancy is increasing.
But despite all reason remains a big catch: Every time you want to leave the usual rut, something is inside and produces a slight discomfort. Even if it's only about five minutes of gymnastics or healthy shopping in the supermarket - the self-proclaimed bodyguard brakes.
Minimize inhibition thresholds
The three pillars of long-term health are:
- Physical fitness,
- varied mixed food and
- mental relaxation.
Weight loss with motivation training
The greater the inner voice, the change, the more it strives to prevent the consistent implementation of the intentions. The inner bastard or resistance can be extremely creative when it comes to the excuses of why we are losing our balance today: weather too bad, time too short, great television program, and, and, and ...
How to promote healthy behavior against the internal resistance, so does the motivational psychology. Self-motivation is what scientists call it, when a person recovers again and again against all internal resistance.
At the University of Hamburg, psychologist Prof. Gabriele Oettingen has been researching motivation for many years. The head of the Research Center for Motivational Psychology examined the eating and exercise behavior of 300 women between the ages of 30 and 50 over a period of four months.
Two groups were compared: One half of the women just decided to eat healthier and do more sports. The second group initially received a 30-minute motivation training. In addition, these women kept a journal in which they noted eating behavior as well as the frequency and duration of their exercise.
Result: Previously motivated women performed much better. They did about an hour more exercise than the control group, eating healthier and maintaining the healthier lifestyle after the four months of study.
Oettingen found that positive thinking alone is not enough to make long-term lifestyle changes. At the start, you have to imagine the obstacles that pile up on your way to the slim sports cannon and come up with a solution for each setback in advance.
With small steps to the goal
The fact that the visualization of a rosy future is not sufficient, has also the social scientist. Gudrun Schwarzer stated. It's about switching from pure theory to practice. She uses a method developed by the US entrepreneur Barbara Sher in the late 1970s: with small steps to the goal.
Anyone who dares to do something for physical fitness on a daily basis can not immediately start jogging for 30 minutes. "That's too drastic a change, " says Schwarzer. It is better to start with a step in the right direction, "be it ever so tiny, then you will experience the changes very directly". Otherwise the internal resistance reacts immediately and makes every plan burst again quickly. Think about the smallest unit you can afford on a daily basis, "then you can subvert the resistance, " advises Schwarzer.
Black, not even the sportiest, she says, began seven squats a day. "For that I did not have to change my clothes and my resistance found this job to be ridiculous, to sign up." Now body memory comes into play. When you pause for a moment after every training session and track down what the movement did to you, the body saves it. After only a few repetitions, the body has longing for this movement and the next step of intensification is easier.
Everyone has to find out for themselves which kind of movement is the most enjoyable, said Schwarzer. These can be pushups, squats or walking. "Decisive are the beginning and the staying - not the extent."