Do you ever feel like whatever dietary or health-related routines and habits you start, just never seem to stick? Are you constantly looking for the answer to improve and maintain gut health, or just to recharge vitality? You can take limitless steps to contribute to that goal, but the key is to try the right habits that integrate with your lifestyle. Several key steps are consistent with building new and sustainable workflows for improved gut health, resulting in feeling better. By creating healthier routines that set us up for achievable, long-term results, we can take back control of our lives from painful health issues and imbalanced lifestyles. Whether you’re a CEO trying to maintain productivity levels or a mom that hardly gets to hear her own thoughts, you can take something from this to create your own unique habit schedule.
But first, why understanding gut health is important
Taking care of our gut health is crucial to creating a balanced life, as it affects almost every aspect of our well-being. Nutrition, training performance, and physique goals are all related to the success of our gut health. More studies in the past decade have shown us that gut health is closely related to brain health. Hint: those brain fogs shall not be dismissed! With the proper combinations of gut-friendly habits and routines, these actions can be powerful. Improving gut health has been known to help achieve better weight management, bolster energy levels, and increase productivity. Furthermore, taking proactive steps to maintain our gut health can provide many long-term benefits related to our metabolic health as we age. All the more reason to act now.
Identifying habits that are impacting your gut health
In today’s world, it can be difficult to identify the habits and routines that are negatively impacting our gut health. From poor recovery habits like lack of sleep to poor nutrition choices under stress and stressors of all kinds – these negative impacts can affect more than just our gut. Poor recovery and restorative practices can lead to difficulty with weight loss and muscle gain, lack of energy, and leads to us doubting ourselves in the gym. Working with a coach could help you see the gaps your busy brain missed. What does optimizing your sleep quality actually look like? How do you plan meals when you have a full-time job and a household to manage? Which exercise routine out of thousands do you pick? Navigating the nuance of work-life balance can be a challenge that directly affects your health. Even the mental habit of putting hard discipline on a pedestal can restrict our capacity for self-compassion when our life commitments need flexibility. Many of us are struggling to try to make sense of our individual needs so having someone who specializes in lifestyle habits can make all the difference in achieving better results.
3 practical tips on how to improve and maintain gut health through habits
Whether you’re looking to lower body fat percentage, boost your energy levels, or just generally improve your health markers and vitality, creating gut-friendly habits is key. The team of personal trainers at Limitless Hong Kong share decades of experience working with different body types, the psychology around fitness and various health habits. Helping our clients create practical and sustainable health habits became our speciality. Here are our three top habits that are gut-friendly and easy(ier) to start:
- Managing stress more effectively. We all have that one friend who will say to you “Have you tried meditation?”. Don’t worry, we are not here to be that friend. Studies have shown that not all meditations have the same effect on every brain. However, we do encourage you to at least try several different practices that help you reset your nervous system and manage cortisol levels. Some of these practices include techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing (try over 15 different styles of breath work), colouring books (and all the arts and crafts you can feel nostalgic with), unplugged walks in nature (or other forms of movement that connect you with your surroundings). These practices can be classed under “mindfulness” techniques. Remember, it is so much about the activity but about the intention behind it.
- Improving sleep quality. There is no one-strategy-fit-all so if lists are your thing, make a list of habits you can slowly implement over time. Use the tool of assessment here and identify what’s contributing to poor sleep quality. Once you have that list, address those first. For example, if doom scrolling in bed is almost certainly causing misalignment in your circadian rhythm, replace that activity with something else instead of stopping cold turkey. Keep a reading material by your bed, practice that new language or even a colouring book – take advantage of this sense of novelty and nurture that habit.
- Schedule the right recovery. Most personal trainers overlook this, but planning your recovery is just as important as planning your training program. Programming methods of recovery that align with your fitness goals not only gets you to your goal more sustainably but also teaches you how to listen to your body better. Is it a monthly de-load that your body needs from a high volume of high-intensity training? Is it a mental shift you need from an overly strict attachment to exercise? Is it social nourishment that you need from isolating yourself because of “hard discipline”? Get the right level of accountability and individualized strategies tailored to each training stage. Your body is always evolving, allow your perspective and lifestyle to evolve with it.
Practices for monitoring how these habits are improving your gut health over time
Having regular check-ins with a personal coach or trainer is a great way to create structure and accountability in your daily habits. During these check-ins, you can reassess how your gut-friendly routines are impacting your health markers, weight management and vitality. As progress continues to be made and breakthroughs occur, monitoring the success of these habits will help affirm that they are having the desired effect on your fitness goals and overall well-being. Through consistent practices and realigning with continual reassessment and monitoring of how these habits can actually improve and help maintain your gut health over time, sustainable results can be achieved for long-term positive outcomes. After all, we want to look and feel better for as long as we can!
Resources to get help when needed
Establishing gut-friendly routines and habits can seem daunting, but with the right resources, it doesn’t have to be. Be proactive by talking to your Functional Medicine Health Coach or personal trainer who could provide you with valuable step-by-step advice and support. Additionally, always vet your sources for credible and scientific information. Depending on your goals, you should know what actionable strategies integrate best with your lifestyle with peace of mind. Open communication is key too – your relationship with your coach should permit you to ask any questions you may have along the way, without worrying about being judged negatively. Ultimately, having these resources on hand will help make the process of working towards a healthier balance an easier journey.
The best routine
Taking the foundational steps towards gut-friendly habits and listening to your body’s needs is key for health and vitality. We should actively strive to be aware of our habits while being mindful of how they impact our well-being, not just today but with tomorrow in mind. Allowing yourself to prioritize certain practices and gradually move out of unhealthy behaviors as you gain more self-knowledge will set you up for success. Developing gut-friendly routines, better sleep routines… any health routines, need to be practical and easy to start. The best routine is the routine you can stick to, have flexibility within structure and be able to grow with you as you age. And of course, when in doubt – work with a coach who is trained in the areas that meet your needs – to break long-term barriers and strive for the optimal health you deserve. So put one foot in front of the other, review progress often and above all, trust the journey.