Small changes can add up to big health benefits. We are more likely to stick with small changes because they feel manageable and it’s easy to chalk up success pretty quickly. Pick a few changes and resolve to add them to your routine for a healthier life.
Prolonged sitting has been linked to increased risk of illness and death, even among regular exercisers. Boost your health by getting on your feet at least once an hour. Set a timer and walk for five minutes or more. Deliver a memo or message, visit the restroom or just walk mindfully taking deep breaths and keeping your awareness in your body as you walk.
Up your veggie intake
You don’t have to promise to give up fried food or sweets. That probably isn’t a realistic promise you can keep anyway. Instead of deciding what you will take away, plan to add at least one serving of vegetables and or fruit to every meal. At breakfast you can include broccoli or tomatoes with your eggs. If you’re in a hurry try avocado slices on a whole wheat English muffin for breakfast on the go. At lunch add spinach to your sandwich and have a salad with dinner.
Drink more water
Bodies are at their best when properly hydrated. Have water with you all day to keep headaches, fatigue and false hunger signals at bay.
Develop a habit of mindfulness
Mindfulness is just about paying attention to now. Worry about what has already happened and what we fear might happen causes stress and separates us from the experience of the moment. Practicing mindfulness has been shown to boost cognitive flexibility and immune function. With regular practice you can also look forward to reduced emotional reactivity, better memory and focus as well as greater relationship satisfaction. Paying attention can also help you manage weight. That’s because eating unmindfully can lead to overeating as well as eating for comfort, or to alleviate boredom.
Make some tech downtime
Insomnia has become a chronic problem for people from all walks of life. It is linked to a number of negative outcomes including poor mood, low energy, weight gain and even poor health. A primary culprit of insomnia is technology. Especially when used at bedtime, televisions, computers, tablets and phones can lead to cognitive overstimulation and sleep cycle disruption. An easy way to sleep better and beat insomnia is to create some tech downtime. Start by cutting back gradually if the idea of signing off causes waves of panic. Turn off technology at least 15 minutes before bedtime and build up to an hour or two. If you find yourself awake in the middle of the night practice deep breathing or a mindfulness exercise. Avoid checking email and text messages.
Small changes add up to big results when you stick with them. Try these to start, and when they feel like new habits add a couple more. Any time is a good time to practice good health habits. You don’t have to wait for a new year.