Phone (513) 251-5500
March 26th, 2019

The Power of Routines for a Healthy You

Category: cincinnati dentist

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Routines are great to have because they can help to improve health, well-being, and productivity!

“Tell me more,” you might be saying!

Here is what to know about the power of routines in your life:

Habits Help Determine Our Long-term Quality of Life

What we do each day, consistently over time, is what ultimately gets us to our desired outcomes. There are things we can’t begin to control that happens in our lives, but our day in and day out habits are what we CAN control.

That’s why routines, even when they are a small part of our day, really do matter.

Think about your oral health routine. At minimum, this can include:

  • Brushing your teeth properly and regularly, usually twice per day
  • Regular and consistent flossing each day
  • Visiting your dentist regularly, at least twice per year

Other parts of your oral health routine might be regularly consuming water throughout the day, using mouthwash, watching your sugar intake, eating nutrient-dense foods, and more.

It is these “small” habits, like these, that end up compounding over time and helping to determine your OVERALL oral health.

That’s true with our overall quality of life, in many cases. Think about it this way: It’s not one or two workouts that make or break your fitness; rather, it’s consistently working out over time that helps you stay at the fitness level you desire. Similarly, it’s not one dessert or one unhealthy meal that determines our overall weight and body composition; rather, it’s consistently over weeks and months and years.

Routines Help us Master Our Time

Another reason routines are so powerful is because they cut down on the number of decisions we have to make each day.

They also help us fight when our feelings or emotions get in the way of our good intentions.

Take for example when you wake up, and feel too tired or not in the mood for a workout. If that happens, and your workout isn’t an ingrained part of your routine, you’ll probably tell yourself you will work out later in the day. Or maybe you just convince yourself you’d rather snooze than do your workout.

In other words, without a routine, there’s greater room for error in what you set out to do!

On the other hand, if you plan and build a consistent routine around a workout session—let’s say, 3 times per week—it’s already on the calendar. It’s part of your morning routine, and you know it’s coming, and so does your body—both mentally and physically. Even if those feelings creep in when you hear the alarm clock in the morning, you are much more likely to fight them off when that workout is part of your morning routine. Science has even shown this to be true that routines help us stick to what we WANT to do for our “future self”.

Having that kind of structure or daily commitment to our habits also reduces the need for us to plan. We know we’re going to do it, because it’s the norm, so we can use our energy in other ways. That added structure ends up helping us get more done, plain and simple.

hagen dental practice in cincinnati ohio

Routines Help Us Feel Good About Our Decisions

Yes, routines help us to be more efficient with our time, and they help us set out to do what we really want to do. As described, routines work to minimize how much our feelings or emotions get in the way, in the moment, of what we intended to do.

But routines also help us prioritize what we really want to prioritize. Think about your oral health. Who wouldn’t want healthy teeth, after all?! Having a daily routine around good oral health habits helps ensure we prioritize the behaviors that support our oral health.

It sounds so simple, but it’s true.

When we look back on a routine we’ve held for quite some time that supports our health, we can feel really great about these positive decisions. After a few months of a new morning routine, we can have more confidence in our ability to trust ourselves to behave in ways aligned with our long-term health goals. That’s a powerful cycle.

Thanks to how routines help us prioritize what we truly want to do for ourselves, we can reduce the need or over-reliance on “willpower” alone.  That’s also a great feeling.

the power of routines for your overall health and oral health

Make Routines Work for You

Maybe you ENJOY variety. That’s fine! That doesn’t mean you can’t ALSO have a routine or daily ritual of some kind that works for you.

Maybe you enjoy a bit more variety in the morning, so you can have a routine that you do at night before you go to sleep. Or maybe your routine is mid-day, for example. Or maybe you have a bit of structure, but in-between those rituals or routines, you add in some creativity. Find what works best for you.

Consider this: one of the routines that can have the biggest ROI on it is going to bed at, or near, the same time every day. This works in combination with waking up around the same time each day.

This can be an immensely powerful routine for your health because the body can really get programmed to getting a certain amount of sleep each day. Imagine you want to go to bed at 10 PM, and you want to start waking up each day at 6 AM. If you need to, start moving your alarm back by 15 minutes each day, or even each week.

You’ll be amazed with how you can suddenly wake up and feel great at 6 AM.

All in all, have confidence in yourself, start small in your changes, and work on cultivating routines that can help you support your long-term health goals.

Supporting You & Your Family’s Health

At Hagen Dental, we support your total health—including your oral health. Visit us online here to schedule or call us at (513) 251-5500.

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