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12:49 PM 22nd January 2022
lifestyle

Healthy Heart Tip: Forming Good Habits

Heart Research UK Healthy Heart Tip, written by the Health Promotion and Education Team at Heart Research UK

As we are well into January, many of us will be considering how we can maintain the heart-healthy habits we started at the beginning of 2022. Staying motivated can be particularly challenging, especially during the winter months, however research indicates that if we are able to maintain a habit for around 66 days, it can turn from a short-term to a long-term habit.

To help you reach your goals over the coming months, here are some tips for increasing success:

Set a Goal

One of the most important things we can do for our motivation is set a goal. It helps us to focus on the future and gives us something to aim for. Remember to make your goals Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound (SMART).

Challenge Your Thinking

Next time you find yourself shying away from a positive habit such as exercising or cooking a healthy meal, consider if the thoughts you are having about the task are logical or helpful. For example, instead of saying “I don’t have time to cook”, you may say to yourself “I don’t have as much time as I would like, but I can still make something quick and healthy”.

Set Cues

Setting reminders or cues for ourselves can increase our chances of success. Try taking out your sports kit the night before a run or setting an alarm to move once per hour.

Track your Progress

Tracking progress can be a great way to see the improvements we make, which can increase our motivation to continue. You can use apps such as MyFitnessPal, or even a simple spreadsheet to track weight loss, running times or the number of vegetables you eat per day!

Pair Up

Forming a habit with a friend or family member can be a great way to increase accountability and share success!

To help keep your heart healthy, why not try out some of the Healthy Heart recipes from the website: https://heartresearch.org.uk/heart-research-uk-recipes-2/

Or have a look through the Healthy Heart cookbook filled with recipes from top chefs, celebrities and food bloggers:
https://heartresearch.org.uk/heart-research-uk-cookbook/

Heart Research UK
Proud to stand out from the crowd, Heart Research UK is the charity dedicated to your heart. They inspire and invest in pioneering medical research, ground-breaking training and education, and in communities to improve their heart health for themselves. For over 50 years they have driven advancements in the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease to benefit patients as soon as possible.