Health wellness expert and professional basketball player Kyle Collinsworth and physician assistant Tyler Sommer, MPAS, PA-C, and Associate Program Director of the Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions Master of Physician Assistant program, share insights into healthy lifestyle choices and habits.
Making Healthy Lifestyle Habits
“When trying to make change, keep it simple with one habit at a time.” Whether it’s going for a 30-minute walk or drinking one green smoothie every day,” said Colllinsworth.
Collinsworth said it’s important to “remove the ego. We think we have to match what the guy on Instagram is doing. But you don’t want to do too much too soon.” Overstretching our bodies can lead to pain or frustration, which can lead to negative feelings toward exercise. “If I can consistently do one simple habit every day, it will compound and build over time.”
Sommer adds, “Start with realistic goals, something that is sustainable…We often shoot for the moon and when we don’t get there it’s discouraging and we say ‘forget about it’ and go back to the poor habits instead of making small changes that are sustainable and doable.”
Maintaining Healthy Lifestyle Habits
Creating health habits requires persistence and patience; unfortunately, it’s easy to lose a habit. Sommer said that the transtheoretical model of health behavior change outlines six stages of change, with the fifth stage being maintenance. As someone goes through stages of change, the maintenance stage occurs over six months where you maintain the habit before it’s part of your life. “If you’re before the six months, you’re still in the action phase and it’s easier to lose the habit because it hasn’t become part of your life yet,” said Sommer.
Collinsworth adds that each time you develop a new habit, it leaves less time and effort toward bad habits you have. “When you add one good habit at a time, your lifestyle standard increases….that’s the power of adding one habit at a time.”
He continued, “We have to find ways, through simplicity, to chip away at bad habits. For example, Sommer explains that just going on a 30-minute walk replaces 30-minutes of watching TV or being sedentary.
It’s Never Too Late to Establish Healthy Lifestyle Habits
It’s never too late to start eating healthy, exercising, or changing habits for better overall health. Collinsworth said that people who have aged beyond youth have better perspective, which can make up for less energy than people in their youth.
“Decision making decides our happiness. When we exercise and eat healthy, we make better decisions,” said Collinsworth.
Every person has autonomy to make choices in their life. “People don’t realize that they have a choice when it comes to what food they eat or how active they are. Take a second and think about that,” said Sommer. “You have a choice in the things you eat and how active you are. Make that decision now to make changes and be healthier.”
Listen to the entire RMUpload episode here.
Tyler Sommer works at In2it Medical, where they focus on helping people make lasting improvements to their lifestyle behaviors.
Kyle Collingsworth offers free monthly guides at http://eepurl.com/gu57e1. You can also follow him on Instagram (@collinsworth5) for health tips and recipes.