Developing healthy lifestyle habits like exercise, eating well and not smoking or drinking too much alcohol is an important way to improve your health and quality of life.
Many people struggle to prioritize these habits, due to a busy schedule or competing needs. Digital intervention can help people optimize their health behaviors by delivering information or prompts based on their individual needs.
- Track Your Activity
Using an activity tracker helps you keep track of how active you are during the day. That information can help you establish goals and motivate you to make healthy choices.
In addition, it can open your eyes to how much time you spend on non-physical activities that don’t support your health goals. That’s why it’s so important to track your activity consistently, every day.
In the study, participants found that activity tracking helped them stay accountable and develop a routine around their target levels of physical activity. In turn, this motivated them to be more active in their daily lives.
- Set Limits
Smart technology can be a limiting factor in a busy household, but there are ways to reduce the impact without sacrificing your digital wellbeing. One of the more obvious methods is to establish a strict limit on screen time, particularly for younger children. A more subtle approach is to replace some of that time with physical activity. For example, setting a goal to play an hour of sports per day or at least once a week can help kids get their daily dose of exercise in the absence of screentime. The best way to make this happen is to enlist the help of your kid’s coach. They’re a great resource for any family with kids who love to be active. It’s the perfect time to start a conversation about the benefits of being physically fit.
- Turn Off Notifications
Notifications can be a great way to keep up with your emails and social media feeds, but they can also be a huge distraction. Instead of checking your phone constantly, make sure you’re focusing on what matters to you and minimizing the amount of interruptions you receive.
One of the easiest ways to do this is by turning off notifications entirely. This will allow you to focus on the task at hand and will help you stay more productive throughout your day.
On Android, you can do this by simply changing each app’s notification settings in the Settings section. You can turn them off completely, limit where and how they appear, and even block notifications for a specific time.
- Create a Schedule
Creating a schedule is an excellent way to organize your daily routine and make sure you get the most out of each day. It can also help you avoid time wasters and prioritize your most important tasks.
Developing a routine takes time and effort to create, but it will become second nature with time. Keep in mind that visitors and vacations can disrupt your routine and it may take a few days to get back into the habit.
A schedule helps you focus on the most important tasks and reduces decision paralysis by marking exactly when you’re going to do your habits. It can also help you schedule in breaks so you can stay focused and recharge.
- Take Breaks
Taking breaks isn’t just for physical health – they also benefit mental and emotional health. Research shows that calming activities like walking, meditation and being in nature can shift brain states that promote overall well-being.
How often you need a break will vary by person, but experts recommend that you try to take short breaks and long periods of time to rest your body and mind throughout the day.
Baylor University researchers found that taking a longer break before your mind and body is completely exhausted does the most good, but what works best for you might take some experimentation. Keeping track of how you feel in the moment is key.