GIA 180: A four-week plan to make health goals routine

In the month of August, many families are gearing up for kids to head back to school, which naturally brings updated routines. As we plan to tighten up our schedules from the lazier days of summer, it’s a great time to refocus on our health goals as well.

An article in Green Child Magazine shares, “Kids thrive on routine because it gives them predictability.” That predictability brings comfort through consistency. The article also indicates that children who have a routine are more adept at handling new things or activities that pop up with less stress. These are great lessons for adults as well! When we are more consistent with implementing healthier actions – on a routine, if you will – they become habits that aren’t derailed when life gets in the way.

August also is National Wellness Month, which emphasizes self-care and stress management through small changes such as drinking water, adding more fruit and vegetables to meals, joining a fitness class, focusing on sleep and more. Sometimes seeing a list of so many things we may need to improve is overwhelming. It’s also a bit nebulous, so Melissa Conner, clinical director of GIA 180, provides a different approach to accumulate better habits one at a time over the course of a few weeks.

Many of the current GIA 180 clients recently have shared similar thoughts with Melissa and have a common mindset: It’s time to get back to and embrace routines and make better choices along the way.

Here’s a four-week plan that you can implement to make health goals become a routine – no kids needed:

Week one: Commit to drinking eight glasses of water every day. That’s 64 ounces of water without including amounts consumed of other drinks such as coffee, tea, juice or soda – which should all be consumed in moderation. Water increases our brain function, can aid in weight loss and helps us when we exercise. There’s a reason that water is first on our list!

Week two: Focus on getting seven or more hours of sleep every night. The National Sleep Foundation says that adults should get between seven and nine hours of sleep nightly. Children and teens need even more. The foundation’s website offers tips for better sleep that can help you adopt better sleeping habits.

Week three: Menu planning and meal prepping. There are multiple benefits to planning meals and snacks for several days, including avoiding the stress that comes when everyone’s hungry and time is tight. Meal prepping means that you prepare a meal or recipe in advance, then divide into portions for later consumption. Tips for prepping include cleaning and processing your veggies and fruit for the week; portioning snacks; doubling recipes and placing half in the freezer for future use; and freezing leftovers in single-serve portions. It doesn’t have to be elaborate and can save time, money and reduce food waste.

Week four: Exercise. Exercise has so many health benefits from keeping muscles strong to helping with stress management. When getting back on a routine, schedule time every day to increase your movement, take a walk, stretch, practice yoga or lift weights.  

At GIA 180, we offer nutrition and weight loss solutions with a trained coach and understand how a daily routine can help make reaching your health goals easier. Contact GIA at 865-558-0601 for more information.