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Habits to create not to sabotage your Healthy Lifestyle

When you want to create a LIFESTYLE of health and fitness and not just a chapter,

there are certain habits you need to create to form a platform so that you can

maintain your LIFESTYLE. One of the biggest excuses we tell our selves is that we

do not have time and that we are too tired to train.

Here are some habits that will assist you in creating better lifestyle

Start of by creating a good sleep environment for yourself.

Your room should be cool, dark, and quiet. It is better to get off all devices and screens 60

minutes for your bedtime. They all radiate blue light which prevents sleep.

A Lack of sleep is known to cause higher risk for injury and is linked to many chronic

diseases like heart diseases, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke,

OBESITY, and depression.

Food and drinks that helps you sleep better includes almond milk, cherry

juice, chamomile, and valerian tea, nuts, fish, eggs, and oats. Melatonin is

the ingredient to look out for, it’s known to improve sleep. Try and avoid spicy

food, chocolate, tomatoes, and citrus fruit before bed.

Naps during the day are only beneficial if you had a good night’s rest and when it is

NOT used to ‘catch up’ sleep. A good nap is 90 min.

Our diets play a huge role in our energy levels. When you do not have energy, it

takes SO MUCH discipline to get yourself to train. Most of the time you can

convince yourself that you are too tired to train, just so that you feel guilty for not

training later. So, lets create a good habit here so that you again can support your

healthy lifestyle and not sabotage it.

We need the correct fuel in our bodies to be able to get the maximum out of our

training. It is so difficult to train and ‘give your best’ in your training session when

you are exhausted, and your body has no fuel. SUGAR is an energy thief. You

know that we all grew up with ‘the kids are on a sugar rush’ when they come from a

birthday party…. That is a pot of nonsense. Kids are energised coming from a

birthday party because they were excited and stimulated. In fact, SUGAR deplete

your energy. It makes you feel worse than before you had it. No 1 rule to have

ENERGY… Cut out SUGAR. Have you ever felt energized after eating a chocolate?

Or in the mood to go run after you had a bag of sweets? I have not. So why would

kids’ bodies work differently?

Processed food and fried food do their part as well in draining your energy.

Side note: A good pre workout is a banana with a teaspoon of peanut butter and an organic


Drink more water

Water is very good to bring your stress levels down which will help in your energy

levels and to lower your cortisol (stress hormone) levels which is very beneficial for

weight loss. It is a very good habit to create to drink your 2L of water per day. I

struggle to get 2L of plain water in my body. When I train, it is easy to drink water

and I make sure I get at least 500ml of water in my 1-hour training session. My

experience to be hydrated before I start training, helps a lot in my energy levels. So,

a habit I created, is to drink 1.5L of plain, black rooibos tea without any sugar during

my day. Which counts as part of my 2L of water per day.

Resting days are very important.

Get into the habit of scheduling your rest days. It immediately gives you a goal for those days that you do not want to train to motivate yourself to keep pushing because your rest day is coming. The following schedule works well for me… Take note that I am a personal trainer and that I am in the gym every weekday. So, you can just take my framework and adjust it to your needs, but the idea will stay the same. My rule for myself is as follows… I commit to train 5 times a week, with no excuses. If something happened that I really could not train in the week, I catch the session up over the weekend or extend 2 of my training

sessions to make up for the lost session. This habit helps me not to skip training sessions. Over weekends, I do not train in the gym or do any typical training sessions. I do however do fun active activities like motorbike, mountain bike, dancing, trail walks… but that is just because I love it. Then I work on 6 weeks full on training, following by 5-day long weekend break where I do not train at all. Twice a year, I take one full week off. One week is normally in December and the other one mid-year. I hope this helps. Obviously, the amount of rest and training depends a lot on your intensity of training as well.

Get your head in the game.

Take the emotion out of your decision making to go train or not. It is very important to make your training session a habit in your schedule and not an activity that you decide on every day IF you going to do it or not. If it is not a habit, excuses will rule the outcome. In your head… decide that training is part of your day, like eating and sleeping. You already made the decision that you want a healthy lifestyle so, stop remaking the decision if you going to train every day. Stop negotiating with yourself. You can use that energy to have a better workout. I almost want to say, get your head off the fact that your need to train and just do it. I hope that makes sense.

Be consistent

To create a habit of consistency is the golden rule for getting to goals and

maintaining your goals. You will achieve much more by being consistent in your

training, working less, then being inconsistent and work your but off when you do

train. Rather work less intense and consistent.

Important habits to have in your training sessions are the following:

Warm-up is SUPER important.

Warming your body up, will decrease your chances of injury. If you warm up in the correct way, your body will burn calories faster and your training session will be much easier, especially thebeginning of your training session. If I do not warm up properly, I struggle

during the first 20 minutes of my training session. I have tested this with my

clients. If they warm up for 5 minutes on a cardio machine before they start

training with me, it will take them on average 30 min to get through 1 round of

our combo and then they literally finish 2 more rounds in the second 30 min

(basically taking them half the time of the 1 st round). Plus, that first 30 min

was very tough on them. What I find works best is to get their blood flowing

with 5 minutes on a cardio machine. Then I do about 8 min of mobility exercises to get their core to warm up and I will focus on warming up their stabilisers, tendons, and ligaments. Then, I send them back to a cardio machine but for only 3 min and on high intensity. Then we start training. The irony is that they then still finish 3 rounds of our combo but from round 1, it takes them 15 minutes per round. So, they basically do 15 minutes’ worth of training more, at the same time they did, and their bodies handle it better.

Stretching is just as important

It also decreases your chances of injury and its good that your muscles cool down before you run out of the gym. Slippingand falling with warm muscles are worse because your muscles will stretchfurther then what they would have if you were cooled down. Being stiff alsobecomes a very easy excuse not to train. To create the habit of stretching and

cooling down your muscles will also decrease the lactic acid in your body which will help with inflammation and stiff ness.

Schedule your training sessions wisely

Schedule your training sessions at times where it is most unlikely that

something will happen to prevent you from training. For example, if you can,train early morning before your day starts. It eliminates a lot of factors thatcan become a reason not to train. To create a habit of training you need to be able to stay consistent in your training slots.


To conclude, let’s create habits that will boost our energy levels to limit those excuses.

If all else fails, remember that we need to start our active lives with a good night’s rest! Without adequate rest atnight, you are going to struggle to stick to your training routine. In the same breath…be careful that a bad night’s rest becomes an excuse not to train. When we train, our bodies send fresh oxygen to our brains which will in fact help you to concentrate better and be more awake. This is a habit worth consistenty working towards.

To your heath and success,

Annerita Maritz

Certified Fitness Instructor at VodaFit

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