In our quest for better health, it’s easy to get caught up in making sweeping changes that are difficult to stick with. But, as any behavior change expert will tell you, small changes are more likely to stick than big ones.
That’s why we asked experts to weigh in on the small changes that can lead to lasting healthy habits. From getting enough sleep to adding more vegetables to your diet, these 10 small changes can make a big impact on your health.
Get more sleep
If you’re not getting enough sleep, everything else in your life will suffer. That’s because sleep is essential for our physical and mental health.
When we don’t get enough sleep, we’re more likely to make poor food choices, have trouble concentrating, and be more stressed. So, if you’re not getting enough sleep, make it a priority to change that.
Eat more vegetables
Vegetables are packed with nutrients that are essential for our health. They’re also low in calories, which can help with weight loss or weight maintenance.
If you’re not eating enough vegetables, start by adding one more serving to your meals each day. You can also try swapping out some of your starches for vegetables. For example, have a sweet potato instead of white rice, or roasted Brussels sprouts instead of roasted potatoes.
We all know that we should be getting more exercise, but it can be tough to make it a habit. If you’re not used to being active, start small by adding 10 minutes of activity to your day.
You can do this by taking a brisk walk around your neighborhood, going for a swim, or riding your bike to work. As you get more comfortable with being active, you can gradually increase your activity level.
Drink more water
Water is essential for our health, but many of us don’t drink enough of it. Start your day with a glass of water and make sure to drink a few more throughout the day.
If you find it difficult to drink water, try flavoring it with a slice of lemon or lime. You can also try sparkling water or unsweetened tea.
Many people skip breakfast because they’re not hungry or they don’t have time. But, eating breakfast can jumpstart your metabolism and give you the energy you need to get through the day.
If you’re not used to eating breakfast, start with something simple like a piece of fruit or yogurt. You can also try a protein shake or a breakfast burrito.
Cut back on sugar
Sugar is hiding in a lot of the foods we eat, and it’s not doing us any favors. Too much sugar can lead to weight gain, cavities, and other health problems.
If you’re eating too much sugar, start by cutting back on sugary drinks like soda and fruit juice. You can also try to cut back on sugary snacks like cookies and cake.
We all have stress in our lives, but too much stress can lead to health problems. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try to find ways to reduce your stress.
Some stress-relieving activities include exercise, meditation, and spending time with friends and family. Find what works for you and make it a part of your daily routine.
Get regular check-ups
It’s important to see your doctor on a regular basis, even if you’re feeling healthy. That’s because regular check-ups can help catch health problems early.
Make sure to schedule an annual physical with your doctor. You should also schedule regular dental and eye exams.
Smoking is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your health.
Quitting smoking can be difficult, but there are many resources available to help you. Talk to your doctor about quitting smoking and look for a support group in your area.
Eat dinner as a family
Eating dinner as a family has many benefits. It’s a great way to spend time together and it can also help improve your child’s nutrition.
If you’re not used to eating dinner as a family, start by having one meal together each week. You can also try packing lunch for your child to take to school.
Making small changes in your lifestyle can lead to big changes in your health. So, start with one or two of these changes and see how they make a difference in your life.