7 Principle Healthy Habits That Busy Dads Can Live By

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By: Stuart Carter, Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1,

C.O.O., The Fit Father Project

healthy habits
Take a look at healthy habits on Google and you’ll find in excess of 268 million results. That’s a lot of information to help you start building a healthier lifestyle!

ff30xOf course, you can’t sit and read all those articles. The good news is that you don’t need to if you’re honest with yourself, you already know what you need to do.

Take a look at everything you do in one day and you’ll know which things need to be changed to start building the new, healthier you.

But, the problem is habits are not created overnight.  In fact, research suggests that it can take an average of 66 days to form a new habit.

That’s where the Fit Father Project steps in as we’re developed by dads, for dads. But, we recognize how difficult it can be to form new healthy habits.

However, as the members of the Fit Father Project will attest, the best way to form new habits is to understand the principles of healthy habits.

What works for you isn’t necessarily the same as what works for your partner. But, if you learn and start to implement these 7 basic principles you’ll develop healthy habits and improve your long-term quality of life.

Don’t forget, research shows that looking after your health today can help you to prevent the onset of many age-related diseases.

Let’s take a look at the 7 principle healthy habits every dad should know.

1. Develop a Positive, Focused Mindset

You know how hard it can be to change your own mind when you’ve decided on something. The good news is that you can use this to your advantage. By deciding that you can do something you will actually achieve it.

proper mindset the holistic approach to healthThis isn’t a new theory, top athletes and successful people have been using visualization for years, in short, you can visualize yourself succeeding at something.

When it comes to developing healthy habits you know it’s difficult to make the right choices, after all that plate of donuts does look more exciting than the salad next to it.

But, if you visualize yourself eating the salad and the health benefits it will give you, you’ll find it much easier to eat, and actually enjoy the salad.

Of course, healthy eating doesn’t mean you have to eat salads all the time! But, this does illustrate the importance of developing the right mindset, visualizing the results is the easiest way to do this.

Don’t forget you’re thinking about the long term results of healthy habits as well as the short term ones.

You also need to think about the positive!

It’s easy to worry about gaining weight, but, if you start to focus on your new body after weight loss, you’ll find that it’s much harder to worry about weight gain. That small switch in mindset can make a huge difference to the success of your healthy habits.

If you want to know more about changing your mindset check out this link.

2. Manage Your Stress Levels

Stress is not good for your health. Whenever you’re in worrying or unfamiliar territory your stress levels will start to rise, your body releases the hormone cortisol.

stress and healthy habitsCortisol shuts down most of the unessential systems and prepares your body to either fight or run away. It’s a primitive response necessary for survival.

Unfortunately, modern humans face different scenarios of the dangers facing cavemen. In many cases the stress response is triggered when it’s not necessary, resulting in constantly elevated levels of stress.

Research has linked long-term elevated stress levels with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, depression, and a host of other conditions.

The good news is that you can reduce your stress starting today. All you have to do is think about the events in your average day that make you stressful.

  • Avoidance
    If it’s possible to avoid the stressful situation then do so!
  • Breathe
    This is something you should always do when starting to get stressed, breathe deeply several times before you react.
  • Meditate
    Some stressful activities are unavoidable, but learning to meditate every day will help you to release the stress properly.
  • Say No
    Stress is often caused by an ability to say no. Practice saying no to small things and work your way up, you’ll find it is liberating and lowers your stress levels almost instantly.

Check out these additional tips for beating stress.

3. Get More High Quality Sleep

When you were a teenager I’ll bet you used to love staying in bed until at least midday. In fact, this was good for you!

sleep deprivation tirednessSleep is when your body recovers from daily activities, muscles repair themselves, and your body maintains its health.

Unfortunately, sleeping in all morning isn’t an option when you have a job and a family. But, getting enough sleep is a healthy habit you should start building today.

Insufficient sleep has actually been linked with weight gain and an increased risk of an array of age-related diseases. There is even research that suggests it can reduce your lifespan.

You need between 6-8 hours of sleep each night. That’s time asleep, not time in bed. Work out your bedtime by counting back 7 or 8 hours from the time you have to get up.

That’s your new bedtime, and all you have to do is stick to it. You’ll notice that you have more energy and motivation after a good night’s sleep.

Check out these tips for sleeping better and start your healthy habits today.

4. Drink More Water Each Day

You probably drink plenty right? Now stop and think about what you actually drink. Yes, tea, coffee, and even beer are all liquids. However, they will also dehydrate you, which will prevent your body from as efficiently as it should.

man drinking water muscle building foodsIn fact, the average man is 60% water, so it’s essential to every part of your body, helping to move nutrients into cells and waste products out.

It works as a shock absorber in parts of your body and even helps your body to regulate its own temperature. But, water is also one of the best healthy habits you can develop.

It’s not just that your body needs water, it also is an excellent way of filling up before you eat, or checking that you’re actually hungry when thinking about a snack.

The good news is that this is one of the easiest healthy habits to start creating. Simply swap every other drink in your day with water.

It can help to carry a water bottle with you, ensuring you always have water to drink.

If you’re not sure that you can swap your current drinks for water then take a look at these tips to help you include water in your diet.

5. Follow a Healthy Meal Plan

I know what you’re thinking. Healthy food is an obvious healthy habit, but healthy food just doesn’t have the appeal of the not-so-healthy options.

muscle building diet foodsThe truth is that less healthy food is generally loaded with sugar and salt, these substances appeal to your taste buds and ensure you crave more of the same.

Yes, it can be hard to change your eating habits, but, with a little effort, you’ll soon change your taste buds and no longer crave the unhealthy sugar and sweet things.

As with everything, it starts with the right mindset. Develop a positive mindset around healthy food by understanding how and why it's good for you.

If you’re looking to include this healthy habit, and you should be, then you need to start clearing out the unhealthy foods in your cupboards.

You’re looking to have vegetables, whole grains, and avoid any processed foods.

A great way to start changing your diet without having to learn an array of new recipes is to simply adhere to the perfect plate eating method.

In essence, every plate should be ½ vegetables, ¼ carbohydrates; ¼ protein. This will give you the nutrients you need and start your healthy habits regarding food.

You’ll be surprised at how quickly your tastes will change.

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6. Do 20-30 Minutes of Activity Each Day

Regular exercise is not the same as hitting the gym or running a marathon, we’ll take a look at that type of exercise in a moment.

a man and dogRegular exercise is another of the healthy habits you know you should be doing but perhaps aren’t. The problem is often listed as time or the cost of a gym membership. But, this healthy habit needs nothing to be completed!

Regular activity simply means scheduling 30 minutes every day to do something. That can be walking to work, getting a dog and walking it, or even playing with your kids.

The trick is to schedule your 30 minutes into your diary and then stick to it. You’ll quickly notice a difference in your fitness and stamina.

Add it onto your diary every day for the rest of this week and start building new healthy habits today!

The great thing about this as one of your new healthy habits is that you can incorporate it into your day just by parking the car further away from work or getting off the bus/train a stop early.

Just remember to allow yourself enough time to get to work and that it gets easier over time.

7. Introduce Formal Workouts

Finally, the ultimate aim of your new healthy habits is to add in some formal exercise.

Formal exercise is your bike riding, running, hitting the gym, or anything else that is structured and will leave you out of breath.

spotterYou can do formal exercise every day. In fact, in many cases, it can simply adopt the slot you were using for regular activity.

If this isn’t an option consider how much this can benefit your long term health, then decide if you really need to see that specific television program.

Again, start by adding formal exercise to your schedule. It’s also a good idea to add in a friend as you’ll motivate each other and a little healthy competition will improve your focus and gains.

Of course, moving more gets your blood flowing, helping to improve nutrient flow through your body. It also encourages muscle repair and growth. But, that’s not all…

Formal exercise helps you to burn excess fat, reducing your eight and lowering the pressure on your organs.

In turn, you’re less likely to have a buildup of plaque in your arteries and will be less prone to heart disease and other cardiovascular issues.

Exercise also helps to reduce the possibility of an array of diseases, including diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and even respiratory issues as you age.

It can be difficult to get started, but by doing 30 minutes of physical activity every day you’ll have started the ball rolling.

From this, you can keep 30-minute slots available, even if you only manage 10 minutes of exercise. It will take less time than you think to be doing 30 minutes or more a day.

However, you should remember that muscle groups need 24-48 hours to recover, it’s best to change the muscles you’re working out every day.

With a little practice, you’ll soon be able to take and complete this free 24-minute workout!

The Benefits of Healthy Habits

Don’t forget that building healthy habits today will help you to be healthy for the rest of your life.

But, as with any momentous change in your life, it is advisable to do this one step at a time.

Your healthy habits will give you these benefits:

  • More energy
  • Reduced risk of age-related diseases
  • Better mood
  • More confidence
  • Able to handle difficult situations easier
  • Maintains your weight, or can help you lose it first
  • Boosts your chances of living to a ripe old age. After all, who doesn’t want to be old and wild!

Final Thoughts

Healthy habits are something that everyone knows they should adopt but are one of those things that it’s easier to leave until tomorrow.

The truth is tomorrow never comes.

Today is your chance to change your life, a few small differences can start your healthy habits and lead you to a brighter, happier, and more positive future.

With the support of the Fit Father Project, you can achieve anything.

Join our FF30X program today and chat with others who’ve achieved the success you’re dreaming of, they’re there to support you as well!

Your new friend and health coach,

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Stuart Carter Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1

C.O.O., The Fit Father Project

Stuart gained his Diploma in Personal Training & Sports Medicine through Premier Global, back in 2001. In 2018, he completed his Level 1 Precision Nutrition qualification.

Throughout his career in Fitness, Stuart has trained hundreds of clients, worked in almost every position in the industry, and ran his own successful training studio.

After a hiatus away from the Fitness industry, working in Corporate Management and Finance, Stuart returned to what he loves… Fitness! This return led to a chance meeting with Dr. Balduzzi, and a place in the Fit Father Project team.

Brotherhood Nickname: The Fit Brit
Bragging Rights: 18 Years in the fitness industry, Author of ‘The Easy Fitness Guide', Father of 4 boys and Husband to a Venezuelan beauty.

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