Hey there, it’s Joe Justice, your Home Gym Hustler Hero! Today, I want to dive deep into a topic that has been at the core of my fitness philosophy all week long: the behavioral approach to health and fitness.
When it comes to health and fitness, most people aren’t aiming to become bodybuilders. What they seek is an overall improvement in their general well-being. And that’s where habits play a paramount role. Habits are the key to achieving any goal, and when it comes to health and fitness, they are especially crucial.
Habits aren’t inherently good or bad. They are simply the way our bodies interact with the world and respond to stimuli. We often associate habits with negative connotations, labeling them as “bad habits.” But habits are neutral; it’s their congruency with our long-term goals that determines their impact.
Let’s take smoking as an example. Smoking provides immediate pleasure and is addictive. Our bodies associate this habit with feeling good, and since it hasn’t caused immediate harm, it becomes deeply ingrained. However, in the long term, smoking is detrimental to our health. Our bodies aren’t wired for optimization; they seek survival in the present moment.
To achieve our long-term goals, we must consciously disrupt these habits and make small incremental changes. Breaking habits isn’t easy, as our bodies have become accustomed to them. But understanding their nature and triggers is the first step to overcoming them.
One effective technique is to disrupt the habit loop. If, for instance, you associate sitting in a specific chair with drinking a beer every evening, remove that chair from your routine. By breaking the physical and environmental triggers, you can start reshaping your habits.
It’s important to remember that our bodies crave familiarity and stability. Change can be uncomfortable and challenging. But the decision to optimize our health and well-being lies within our higher-level thinking. We can envision the long-term consequences and make conscious choices to modify our behaviors.
Cognitive behavioral therapy delves into the process of modifying behaviors by understanding and altering habits. By identifying triggers and making small changes, we can create a positive impact on our overall health. It’s about chipping away at the habits that don’t align with our long-term goals and replacing them with healthier alternatives.
So, I encourage you to take a moment today to reflect on your habits. Identify those small changes you can make to improve your health and fitness. Remember, it’s the cumulative effect of these incremental changes that leads to lasting transformation.