Habit stacking suggestions from health and fitness experts
If this year you’re finding it difficult to maintain momentum with any positive intentions you may have set, incorporating some behavioral science into your strategy may help. The concept of “habit piling” – coined by him Wall Street Journal Bestselling author SJ Scott via his 2014 book The Habit Builder: 97 Small Life Changes That Take Five Minutes Or LessAnd Popularized by James Clear 2018 The New York Times Best seller Atomic habits – He suggests you train your mind with routines to create lasting change.
The basic premise behind habit stacking is that you build a routine around simple habits that require little effort. He also recommends combining tasks that can be done all at once, or pairing jobs that feel like “chores” (like cleaning the bathroom) with something to look forward to (like listening to a new episode of your favorite podcast). Then these small wins build momentum because they are easy to remember and complete. Before you know it, those small behaviors combined have a long-term impact.
While habit stacking can be applicable to all aspects of your life, from offsetting anxiety to enabling better organization, it is an especially effective tool for achieving sustainable wellness practices.
“Stacking habits is a great way to build consistency in your diet,” says a nutritionist and naturopath Ryan Stephenson Tell us. As the former CEO of the company Cycle Londonand now the founder of the functional supplement brand ArtahShe knows a thing or two about living healthy.
Another visionary businesswoman, Anna Samuels, Approves. It recently launched Boxx+, a boxing-inspired app and wearable fitness tracker by Boxx (her studio in east London), designed to help you build a sustainable physique – given that 90 per cent of adults give up a new exercise routine within the first three months. “Habit stacking is a great technique for those who want to create new habits or a positive behavior change,” she tells us. “It has personally been an absolute game-changer for me in terms of building a consistent workout routine.”
The key to building a habit, Samuels says, is to start small and then build on it, if you feel like it. Here, she and Stephenson share habits stacking routines that work for them, which in turn might inspire your own version.
Ryan Stephenson’s feeding habit stacks up
“You can use habit stacking in many ways—but here are some of my favorite things to do on my own,” says Stephenson. “They’re all pretty simple, but they make a huge difference when it comes to staying consistent and healthy when things get busy.”
- “While I am making my morning coffee, I drink 500ml of water. And I add Artah Cellular Moisturizing To replenish salts, which is great because it replaces essential minerals that we lose during sleep and helps rehydrate us before coffee, but you can also add a little fresh lemon or lime.”
- “When I cook dinner on Mondays, I roast a tray of veggies. Which is great because it means I have quick, healthy options for lunch or dinner when I’m busy for the week.”
- “When I go to the farmers market on the weekend, I stock up on protein to toss in the freezer for a later date. This is great because it’s better quality meat, and it’s usually less expensive, which means I always have something on hand to make after a busy day at work.” .
- “I keep my supplements next to my skincare routine, which means I never forget to take them.”
- “I snack on a few snacks while preparing dinner. This is ideal because it increases fiber intake and a variety of plants, while eating vegetables before a meal also helps reduce spikes in blood sugar.”
Fitness Habits Stacks by Anna Samuels
“Whether you are completely new to exercise or want to step up and/or change your training, habit stacking can be really effective. These are some habit stacks that have worked well for me.”
- “After I drink a cup of hot water with lemon in the morning, I’ll log in Boxx+ app and select My Workout. I choose to stack my workouts with this because this is something I do daily during time to myself before my kids wake up. My schedule currently doesn’t allow me time to go to a studio class, so using the app ensures that I can still do my favorite boxing workouts within the constraints of my hectic schedule. “
- “After I brush my teeth at night, I’ll put my workout clothes on in the morning. This is a visual cue to work out. On days when I don’t, I’m very likely to miss a workout.”
- “After I do my boxing workout, I’ll add a 10-minute stretching lesson. Stretching is an important part of any workout routine because it allows our muscles to recover faster and also work more efficiently. However, if I don’t pile on my workout, I often I find it hard to stick to a dedicated stretching session each week.”
- “After I finish my weekly food store online, I’ll schedule my workouts for next week. Research shows that you’re three times more likely to show up and exercise consistently if you set your intentions for where, when, and when we’re going to work out.”
- “After I eat my lunch while working from home, I will go for a walk. I do this even on the days I work out, otherwise I can spend the whole day sitting on my laptop which is not good for my body or mind.”