7 Simple Lifestyle Changes You Can Do to Gradually Improve Your Health
At the start of every year, tons of people set a goal to become happier and healthier. However, you won’t be achieving those goals if you won’t act on it. Altering their habits and lifestyles may seem daunting for most, and they end up not seeing it through the end.
Fortunately, you can achieve a healthier you gradually by making some tiny changes to your day-to-day routine. Although small, these sustainable adjustments can cause a significant impact on your health and well-being without overwhelming you.
Walk Around Your Local Big Store
Before starting your shopping trip, try to walk around your local mega-store from one end to the other. In an average big-box store, the distance you walk between the outermost aisles can span a quarter-mile.
If you do this at least once a week in a year, you’ll be able to walk 12 miles extra. Without you realizing it, this habit can get your blood flowing and make your heart rate go up. Who knows? You might just stumble upon a great store deal while you’re at it.
Take the Stairs
If you can, try to choose the stairs over taking the elevator. You may not want to put in that extra effort, but at least your body would have worked twice as hard (in a good way) by the end of the year. Aside from the benefits of walking such as increased heart rate and getting the blood flowing, your metabolism will also be kicked into gear and it will help you get out of the sedentary behavior.
A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology shows that sedentary lifestyles are linked to higher mortality risks among adults who have little to no physical activity. Small changes like this could add low-impact mini-workouts to your daily routine.
Be Mindful of Your Snack Choices
In between meals, you experience these energy dips and cravings that make you want to reach out for that jar of chocolate chip cookies or that bag of chips. Your body needs snacks, but not like these sugar and sodium bombs.
Trade those guilty pleasures with whole, balanced grub that will serve as sustenance for your body. Get yourself a serving of banana and peanut butter, yogurt and berries, a handful of almonds, or a plate of veggies and hummus.
Ditch the Butter, Use Oil Instead
The Harvard School of Public Health noted in a 2010 review published in PLOS Medicine that using oil instead of butter can reduce the risk of heart disease in a span of a year.
The study, which observed 13,00 people who swapped saturated fat in butter and red meat for polyunsaturated fat in canola oil and soybean oil for at least one year, revealed that the risk of getting heart disease was reduced by 19 percent.
Move Around Every 20 Minutes
It’s not healthy to just sit all day. Experts recommend standing up from your chair and moving around every 30 minutes or less. Sitting all day could be suppressing the enzymes involved in metabolizing fat. It may also indirectly affect blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, and other health markers.
Connect With an Old Friend
By talking or chatting with at least one old bud once every month for a whole year, you get to rekindle or strengthen 12 friendships. According to research, those who have stronger personal bonds are more likely to outlive those who are less social by 50 percent. The numbers are not limited, though. You’re free to check in on anyone at any convenient time.
Hit the Sheets a Minute Earlier Every Night
One minute is enough to make a difference in a year. In just 2 months of doing this habit, you’ll get an extra hour of sleep without having to alter your sleep pattern too much.
Getting sufficient sleep is of the utmost importance when trying to maintain good health. Depriving yourself of sleep can lead to higher risks of certain diseases like heart problems, diabetes, Alzheimer’s; decreased focus; and poor memory.
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