You Deserve To Reward Yourself – Seriously

woman laying on a massage table in a spa

In our modern-day society, it can be seen as selfish to reward yourself, and yet this action is important to build healthy habits. To achieve your long-term wellness goals, it’s imperative you treat yourself regularly. The behavioral psychologist that helped us build Mountain Trek’s Habits To Health app says we should all be rewarding ourselves at least once a week. After all, we deserve it! 

Life isn’t supposed to be all work and no play. At Mountain Trek, we encourage everyone to let loose occasionally otherwise our day-to-day can become too stressful. Have that glass of wine on a Saturday night. Treat yourself to that 90-minute massage. As long as you ensure your “rewards” don’t become unhealthy habits then indulge! In fact, we believe that as hard as you’re working to accomplish your health goals, it’s just as important to be rewarding yourself for your effort to do your best.

Reach Your Goals With Positive Reinforcement

Treating yourself is important – even if you don’t achieve your health goals right away. When we reward ourselves for doing our best, we support the journey to our success. Rather than punishing ourselves for failing along the way, we can celebrate the intentions to do our best.

Building a new habit or breaking a bad habit can be hard. That’s why it’s important to keep perspective and to give yourself a little treat, a kind of pat on the back if you will, just for staying the course.

How to Treat Yourself

Rewards can be anything positive, as long as they don’t involve sweets or salty indulgences. Here are a few of our favorite types of rewards, but the sky’s the limit!  

  • Get a massage
  • Sleep in on Sunday
  • Treat yourself to a manicure or pedicure
  • Make a wildflower bouquet for yourself
  • Indulge in a hot bath with Epsom salts and essential oils
  • Attend a local art exhibition
  • Take a class in something you’ve always wanted to try
  • Buy some new, quality bed sheets

For more ideas and to learn how to incorporate rewards into an overall health and wellness strategy, feel free to reach out about our balanced health and wellness program.


What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at info@mountaintrek.com or reach out below:

Build a Habit and Change Your Life

Good Habits

What are your health goals? Are they weight loss? Improved fitness? Stress relief? Detoxification? Deeper sleep?

Most of us can identify with at least one, if not more, of these health goals. Picking a goal is the easy part; the difficulty arises in figuring out the next steps.

The good news is that reaching your health goals is simpler than you think. It’s not the latest diet or health fad, however. The answer lies in habit formation: making one small change regularly that, after a while, becomes as natural as brushing your teeth. It’s so intuitive you don’t even think about it anymore.

Whatever your health goals are, we’ve built an app to guide you along the way. Our brand new Habits to Health app helps you identify small changes you can make to your life each day that will, over time, bring you closer to your wellness goals.

Start building healthy habits today: download the Habits to Health App for iPhone now.


What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning health retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you detox, unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at info@mountaintrek.com or reach out below:

5 Tips for Successful Habit Building

5 Tips for Successful Habit Building

Building habits is hard work. If it were easy, I wouldn’t be writing this article. In fact, human beings are hard-wired to perform actions in a repetitive way. Rinse, wash, repeat. The challenge is getting yourself to get rid of the bad habits and replace them with the healthy, life-affirming ones.

We’ve had a lot of experience in the field of habit building, so we’ve decided to share with you our 5 most effective habit building tips.

Reward Yourself

1. Reward yourself

This comes as a surprise to most people – but just as important as adhering to your goals is rewarding yourself for your intention to do your best. That’s right – the reward comes whether or not you’ve successfully achieved your goal that week. That means that for every week you are setting out to build a habit, you should also be give yourself a treat. These treats can be anything – like getting a massage, visiting a museum, or sleeping in on Sunday.

 

Start small and realistic

2. Start small and realistic

Start with small and reasonable goals that you think you have a high likelihood of success. If this means only striving to do something once a week, that’s perfectly fine. It’s much better for you to succeed at making a change once a week then to set a goal of 5 times per week and only do it once. You’ll eventually start beating yourself up and may give up all together. Don’t strive for perfection; instead, do the best you can, and remember, tiny improvements quickly add up over time.

 

Focus on no more than two actions at a time

3. Focus on no more than two actions at a time

We strongly recommend that you focus on no more than two health actions at a time. Our extensive research and background in the field of habit building and wellness has shown us that most individuals can successfully incorporate a maximum of TWO new habits into their life at any time. Set yourself up for success and focus on one or a maximum of two habits at a time.

 

Be social

4. Be social

Get support from your friends and family. Tell them about what you’re doing and ask them to encourage you! And, if you’re feeling down or having trouble that particular week, seek support from your community.

 

If you are having trouble, change your goals

5. If you are having trouble, change your goals

Notice when things are becoming a bit too difficult and you are starting to feel frustrated. If you can’t achieve the action you set out for yourself, you have a few options:

  • First, reduce the target frequency. If your goal was to do something 5 times a week, try instead for 3 and see if you’re able to do that.
  • If changing the target frequency doesn’t work, go ahead and pick a different health action that you might be more likely to achieve.

Remember, success breeds success! Choose reasonable and realistic goals that you can actually achieve and grow from there.

For more tips and tricks related to habit-building for wellness, we suggest you download Mountain Trek’s brand new Habit-Building & Goal-Tracking App in which we guide you through the process of turning health actions into habits into lifestyle changes.


What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning health retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you detox, unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at info@mountaintrek.com or reach out below:

Building Healthy Habits in 6 Easy Steps

Identify your health and wellness goals

Building good habits and attaining sustainable, balanced health doesn’t come by yo-yo-ing between the latest diets and health fads. It comes from making small, seemingly trivial choices on a daily basis—choices that when added up at the end of the day tally to having a healthy lifestyle.

Lifestyle Habits are like a heavy flywheel

Lifestyles take a lot of energy to get going, but once moving, they are hard to stop. This is what makes a balanced lifestyle the holy grail of health—once established, it only takes a small amount of energy to maintain. An unhealthy action then becomes like a random impediment to the flywheel—the unplanned event (say a happy hour, office dessert, or 3rd cup of coffee) may jolt the system and temporarily cause the wheel to slow, but it won’t kill momentum and soon enough, your flywheel will be right back to its usual speed.

Once going, lifestyles are our path of least resistance—a series of actions that require the least amount of thought and energy (stress) to perform. This presents a catch-22, however. Trying to change our lifestyle introduces stress to our daily life (in the form of the effort required to consciously make better, healthier decisions) and stress is something we have been hardwired to avoid (RUN from the stressful sabertooth tiger trying to eat you!). The exact benefit of what makes a lifestyle so sustainable also makes it incredibly hard to change. But in order to lead a happier, healthier life, we must be fierce and put in the work necessary to change our habits and nurture our lifestyles. Exactly how we do that can be the difference between success and failure.

How To Build Healthy Habits

There is a way to efficiently, and effectively, create new habits. Our method, which has been refined and proven successful time and time again by the thousands of guests who have come through our program, incorporates 6 easy steps. Follow these steps to start moving your flywheel in the right direction, and once you’ve accomplished your first goal, add a second to keep the momentum going!

Step 1: Identify your health and wellness goals

The first step involved in building healthy habits is to identify what your larger wellness goal is. This could be as simple as “get healthy” or “get healthier”. That’s great, but the more specific the better. What does “getting healthy” actually mean for you? Does that mean you want to lose weight, improve sleep, reduce stress, increase physical fitness, etc.?

It’s highly likely you will have multiple wellness goals, and that’s great. Start by writing down a list of all of your goals and then prioritize them by order of importance. What do you want to focus on first? What’s most important to you?

Identify health actions associated with each goal

Step 2: Redesign your goals to optimize for success

You’ve made your list. Great. But most likely you’ve just made a long list of bad goals that are impossible to achieve.

To make your goal as likely as possible to succeed, follow these steps:

First, identify a series of specific health actions that will help you achieve each wellness goal.

The means to the end. For the purposes of this exercise, let’s say you want to focus on weight loss. What are the specific healthy actions that will get you to lose weight? For example, for our guests at Mountain Trek interested in weight loss, we recommend the following, specific actions:

– Eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking.

– Eat only half of the food on your plate every time you go to a restaurant.

– Pack two healthy and portioned snacks each day.

– Cook for yourself at least 3 meals a week.

Do you see how the above examples could lead to the end goal? It’s much easier, and more effective, to focus on completing the specific action, then jumping straight into the deep end and accomplish the overall goal all at once. Doing so will overwhelm you, fast, and make you likely to freeze and not even attempt the goal in the first place.

Come up with a list of specific actions for each of the wellness goals you have identified.

Items you just added to your list are likely to have roadblocks. Say you want to eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking. What happens when you’re too tired to go to the grocery store after work so you wake up and have no food for breakfast? This is an all-too-real scenario that we must plan for ahead of time, or else we run the risk of being derailed by the slightest roadblock. To help, come up with three possible roadblocks for each action

Next, come up with three solutions to those roadblocks.

Thinking ahead and having a gameplan for our most common roadblocks will help us handle the curveball and get on with it.

Finally, list three benefits to accomplishing your goal.

What is the benefit of eating breakfast within 30 minutes of waking? This will show you the “why” behind your goal, and increase your emotional connection to the goal, giving it more reason, and permission, to get accomplished.

Step 3: Simplify

Now, pick a maximum of TWO actions (from either the same or separate goals). Yes, you may be thinking, “what did I do all that work for on the other goals, then?” Do not worry, that was not a futile effort. Without having fully analyzed all of your goals, would not have selected the two best goals to begin forming into habits.

Why two? That’s the max your brain can possibly incorporate into your lifestyle at a time. Choosing only two actions at a time dramatically maximizes your chances of success. If you have more, you just incessantly bounce between them, not making progress on any. They become a distraction for each other.

The most successful people on the planet know that it’s best to pick a very small number of tasks to do and then do them well, ensuring they get completed. Only then do they move on.

Set a weekly target.

Step 4: Set a weekly target

You’ve now decided on which of your health actions to focus on, and let’s say it is eating breakfast within 30 minutes of waking. The next step is to decide how many times per week you are going to do this.

At Mountain Trek, we recommend setting a target goal for yourself of no more than 5 days per week for each habit. Doing anything every single day without fail is impossible. Life has too many curveballs. Allowing for the unknown, a little bit, makes it far more likely you will succeed in transforming action into a habit. You are giving yourself permission to not be 100% perfect. Perfection is unattainable and the self-inflicted shame that comes when we, surprise, don’t attain the unattainable, is sure to knock you off track, and fast.

Start small. Aim for doing your action two, maybe three times each week, then grow from there. If you end up repeating your action more than 5 days a week, that’s just extra credit and we praise you for it!

If you end up not meeting your weekly target, don’t sweat it. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and missing your target every once in a while won’t impact your long term results. What’s important is to get back on track and not to beat yourself up for an occasional slip-up.

Bonus: put the specific days you hope to accomplish your action in your calendar. And schedule yourself first! before meetings, events, and outings. Prioritize your health.

Monitor your progress and adjust if needed

Step 5: Monitor your progress and adjust if needed

You know what health action you are working on and how many days a week you are going to do it. The next step is to keep track of it.

Write it down in your journal. Keep a piece of paper handy with a tally. Track it using your online calendar. Or, you can use either Mountain Trek’s Health & Habit Building App, which will keep track of your progress for you, or our simple goal tracker.

Whatever tool you decide to use, it’s important to monitor your activity, notice when you’re falling behind and congratulate yourself when you are achieving your goals! If you notice, for example, that you are having trouble eating breakfast within 30 minutes of waking 5 days per week, then consider adjusting to 3 days per week. If that still doesn’t work and you find it impossibly hard to have breakfast – then simply pick a new action to focus on!

Reward progress

Step 6. Reward your intention

Here’s one of the best parts about habit formation – whether you are successful or not, you still get to reward yourself for your intention to do your best!

Rewards can be small or big, simple or complex. Some examples:

  • Treat yourself to a manicure or pedicure.
  • Indulge in a hot stone massage.
  • Go to the local Humane Society and spend the day playing and petting mankind’s favorite four-legged friends. Or simply borrow your neighbor’s dog for an hour!
  • Make the time to indulge in a hot bath with some therapeutic rock salts or candles.
  • Attend a local art exhibition or classical music concert.

The list goes on! You get the idea. Every week you should “reward” yourself for your intention to do your best with some kind of treat that is not associated with food.

Track your progress

 

Now that you have your habit set up for success, be fierce. Fight for your habit. It can take up to six months to turn an action into a habit, so be patient. But when you do put the time and energy in, you will successfully ingrain your habit and positively alter your lifestyle. Your flywheel will have positive momentum in the right direction and you will start to reap the rewards of a healthy lifestyle.

What’s next….?

Once you’ve engrained your new habit, or two, it’s time to pat yourself on your back and go back to your original list of wellness goals and health actions and pick another action or two and repeat the whole process. Good luck.


What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at info@mountaintrek.com or reach out below:

Habit Building for Wellness

Habit Building for Wellness

You’ve decided you want to lose weight, get fit, reduce stress, sleep better? That’s great! The next step is figuring out how to start. A quick search on the internet might lead you to the latest diet fad or the newest fitness gurus, each with their own personal recipe for success.

Perhaps you might get overwhelmed by all of this and wonder when did health and fitness get so complicated? Well, it doesn’t have to be!

Related Article: 3 Steps to 10x Your Success Rate

Achieving wellness can be as simple as making small changes in your life on a day-to-day basis and taking incremental steps towards something that will ultimately lead to big changes in your life.

It’s all about turning actions into habits. Let’s break this down.

Actions repeatedly regularly over time = habits

To put it as simply as possible, to turn an action into a habit, you have to repeat it over and over again until it becomes second nature.

Like brushing your teeth: you brush your teeth at least twice a day when you wake up and before you go to bed. But, you weren’t born this way; your parents drilled it into you from when you were a toddler, and then you did it every day, twice a day, for years until it became a habit and you stopped thinking about it.

The more you repeat something, the easier and more ingrained it becomes. Building a habit is a simple as repeating an action again and again until it becomes habitual.

Accumulated habits = lifestyle changes

The thought of making big lifestyle changes can be overwhelming, but when you break it down, lifestyle changes are simply collections of tiny actions repeated over and over again that then become habits. When you think about it this way, it may seem more manageable and less overwhelming.

Rather than focus on the lifestyle change or large health goal you want to make, what about instead breaking it down into discrete actions and focusing on them one at a time?

One action repeated regularly over time makes a habit and an accumulation of habits makes lifestyle changes.

Lifestyle changes = wellness goals

From these actions which we transform into habits and which then leads to lifestyle changes, we bring ourselves closer and closer to our wellness goals. It’s these lifestyle changes that ultimately bring us to our wellness goals, whether that be weight loss, reduced stress, detoxification, fitness, or better sleep.

For more tips and tricks related to habit-building for wellness, we suggest you download Mountain Trek’s brand new Habit-Building & Goal-Tracking App in which we guide you through the process of achieving your wellness goals through habit building.


What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning health retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you detox, unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at info@mountaintrek.com or reach out below:

Digital Detox Tips For A Stress-Free Life

person-typing-on-phone

Do you spend more time checking your phone than looking at your lunch date? Or find yourself checking social media frequently and experience anxiety if you forget your phone at home? You’re not alone – the Western world is dependent on technology, and we don’t go long without checking a screen. But we can make strides towards a healthy relationship with technology using these digital detox tips.

7 things you can do to digital detox:

1. Get reading

Go back to an original paper book and put down the ebook!

2. Live theatre

Give your eyes a rest from the screen and treat yourself to a night at the theatre or opera.

3. Stretch

Have a good stretch; whether 10 minutes sitting in a chair, or going to a local yoga class, we could all use a little more stretching.

4. Get some fresh air

Go for a walk, hike, or a bike ride – even for just a few minutes, the fresh air revitalizes immensely.

5. Get creative

Paint, draw, pottery, or make a blanket fort with the kids! Accomplishing a creative endeavor brings a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment. It can be a tangible, beautiful result of time digital detoxing.

6. Cook

Make a big batch of soup for the freezer for ready-meals, or make a bean salad for dinner and a few work lunches. This is a great opportunity to create a healthy nutrition plan for your week!

7. Have company

Engage in any of the above with a loved one! Face to face interaction rather than online interactions has been proven to uplift mood, reduce more stress, and release endorphins. So rather than chatting online, go out for a tea or a walk!

Try having one digital detox day per week. Turn off the computer, phone, and Netflix to see what fun you can have without being plugged in and how you feel after having that cleanse.

Digital Detox Tips

Technology as friend, not foe

Integrate some digital detox practices into your life to promote a healthy relationship with technology, rather than a dependant one. 

Health apps: More applications exist for our smartphones than we could ever dream up. The Mountain Trek App can support you on your wellness journey.

Alarms and reminders: if you spend the majority of your time on or near a computer, use it to your advantage! Set reminders or alarms to remind yourself when to have that healthy snack, or when to get up and go for a 15-minute walk to stretch the muscles and get some fresh air.

Tip: Use your computer or phone’s calendar to organize your week; when you’ll go swimming at the pool, when you’ll go to that pump class, and you can even schedule in the time to go for an after-dinner walk with your partner. Treating all these aspects of your health as ‘real’ and important appointments will make you less inclined to ditch them.

Your digital detox, like any detox, is important to cleanse and grow towards more desirable habits in your every day. Learning to use technology as a tool towards our goals, as opposed to addiction is sure to benefit us in the long run. And who knows, while you’re not online, you may just discover something fun that you love doing, unplugged or not!


What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning health retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia will help you unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress, anxiety, and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at info@mountaintrek.com or reach out below:

Hypertension: How to prevent and manage high blood pressure

hypertension

A condition that plagues approximately 70 million Americans, hypertension is dangerous but can be prevented and managed. With the sedentary lifestyles that are so prevalent in everyday society, it is little wonder that high blood pressure is increasingly common. When the heart is unfit, it has to work overtime, resulting in high blood pressure. The good news is we can manage the condition and can even lower blood pressure back to a healthy state.

What is hypertension?

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a widespread condition in today’s society. Blood pressure is represented by two measurements. The first is systolic and is measured when the heart contracts. The second is diastolic, which is measured when the heart releases/relaxes.

A healthy range for systolic blood pressure is between 100-140 mmHg and 60-90 mmHg for diastolic. A blood pressure reading higher than 140/90 mmHg is considered to be hypertension.

The long term effects of high blood pressure are numerous. Issues like heart attack, stroke, heart failure, damaged organs, and aneurysm are some examples. The World Health Organization has identified high blood pressure as the leading cause of cardiovascular mortality. Symptoms of hypertension include headaches, fainting, fatigue, difficulty breathing, chest pains, and irregular heartbeat. However, many people with hypertension feel no symptoms whatsoever. All the more reason to get your blood pressure checked out by your healthcare professional.

What causes hypertension?

Firstly, hypertension can be broken into two groups. When there is no obvious underlying cause, this is considered primary hypertension. Secondary hypertension is when high blood pressure is caused by another condition.

The causes of hypertension are inconclusive but are thought to include certain conditions and lifestyle choices, including:

  • obesity
  • diabetes
  • kidney disease
  • hormonal imbalance
  • sedentary lifestyle/lack of physical activity
  • insufficient vitamin D, lack of magnesium, potassium, and calcium
  • high levels of salt/sodium intake, high levels of alcohol consumption
  • genetic predisposition
  • certain medication, for example, birth control pills
  • stress

While seriously harmful to our health, the good news is high blood pressure is manageable, preventable, and even reversible.

Hypertension Prevention and Management

Although medication can help with managing high blood pressure, adopting healthy habits is imperative to the prevention and management of hypertension. Practicing healthy life choices can prove so effective in combating high blood pressure that often medication can be avoided. According to the American Heart Association, there are a few main ways to prevent high blood pressure:

Engage in regular physical activity

It’s easy for inactivity to become a way of life when desk jobs and busy life schedules take over. Engaging in exercise not only helps with blood pressure but also helps reduce stress and promotes weight loss. Aim to include aerobic activities that get the heart pumping! But any physical activity is a good thing. 

Enjoy a healthy diet, low in salt and alcohol 

Stick to a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, high in fiber and lean protein. In the place of salt/sodium, opt for low or no salt alternatives such as Spike no-salt seasoning, or nutritional yeast. Consume little alcohol and find alternatives, like all-natural sparkling fruit juices, or herbal teas.

Maintain a healthy weight

Those who are overweight are considerably more at risk to develop or have high blood pressure. A benefit to so many aspects of our well-being, even just a little weight loss can help our blood pressure health.

Don’t smoke 

Need we say more? These days, it is undisputed that the harsh chemicals and additives present in cigarettes are unhealthy for all aspects of health, including blood pressure.

Manage stress  

We’ve all felt our blood pressure go up during stressful moments. Managing stressors is imperative to so many aspects of health, and only you know what truly relaxes you. Meditate, go to a yoga class, treat yourself to a massage, spend some time in the backyard gardening, even engaging in regular deep breathing – whatever works for you.

For most people, implementing these regular lifestyle changes can be challenging. But starting small with just one or two changes can improve your overall health, including your blood pressure. Moreover, think of these tactics as ‘lifestyle prescriptions’ to help avoid the doctor’s prescriptions. 

Unlike so many health conditions, hypertension is very manageable and preventable by making these choices. So get moving, enjoy your fruits and veggies, and destress.


What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning health retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you detox, unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at info@mountaintrek.com or reach out below: