Monday, January 13, 2014

Small Lifestyle Changes Make a Big Difference in Your Health

I've always tried to be as healthy as possible, but temptations (brownies, chips and salsa, etc.) have caused me to stumble many times. What I've learned is that you don't have to be perfect all the time. When you cave in to treats or ignore that voice in the back of your head telling you that you need to exercise, you're not doomed to total failure. Just forgive yourself and plow forward.

Here are a few changes you can make to get healthier:
  • When you go to the store or mall, opt for a distant parking space. A few extra steps throughout your day add up and burn calories.
  • Eat 2 servings of fish each week for your heart. If you don't care for the flavor, disguise it with teriyaki or Italian sauce.
  • Add flax meal to as many recipes as you can. Some of my favorites include meatloaf, smoothies, and oatmeal.
  • Eat a substantial breakfast that will last all morning. Doing this may help you resist the temptation to grab a doughnut at the office. Make sure you have some lean protein that "sticks to your ribs" and fruit that provides a vitamin boost.
  • Add an extra veggie to your plate each meal. As little as a 1/2-cup serving can provide a big bump to your immune system and antioxidant levels.
  • Include as many super-foods in your daily diet as possible. Some of them are broccoli, kale, salmon, eggs, nuts, yogurt, sweet potatoes, beans, and berries.
  • Walk 20-30 minutes each and every day. You can do this before you get ready for work, during your lunch hour, or after dinner each night.
  • Exercise during commercials. Strengthen your core by doing as few as a dozen crunches per day. Stretch afterward to maintain flexibility.
  • Limit coffee consumption to 2 cups or less per day.
  • Cut as much sugar as possible. Eat fruit instead.
  • Cut back on sodas and drink water instead. If you typically drink 3 sodas per day, back off to 1 or 2. Eventually you may discover that you prefer water to quench your thirst. You may enjoy a refreshing splash of lemon juice added to your water.
  • Sleep 7 to 9 hours per night.
  • Sit up straight when eating or typing on the computer.
  • Step away from your work desk as often as possible. Walk around, run in place, and get the wiggles out.
  • Take a daily multivitamin.
  • Kiss your spouse and kids.
  • Be nice to others. Using good manners and smiling as you go through your busy day can give you a better overall feeling about life.

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