Small Healthy Habits Can Make a Big Impact
The new year is always the time for new habits. Whether it is your New Year’s Resolution or the desire to make healthier choices, every change counts. Researchers at Harvard found that even if a person only had one healthy habit, they lived longer than if they had none!
Healthy habits include maintaining a healthy diet, physical activity level, and body weight, as well as never smoking, limiting alcohol intake, and practicing mindfulness. While these habits can seem big and intimidating, especially when, year after year, it can be easy to side-step health for busy schedules and convenience, there are small, easy steps you can take to ensure your health is a top priority. A holistic health plan that focuses on your mind and body is key to ensuring a healthy lifestyle.
How do we maintain healthy diets?
Nutrition can be fun and does not have to mean cutting all the fun foods we love and enjoy. Harvard researchers define a healthy diet as consistently consuming vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and healthy fats while limiting processed foods and excess sodium. It’s also super important to drink plenty of water.
To incorporate healthier foods into your diet, consider adding fruits and vegetables to your daily breakfast. Not only is this an excellent way to get those nutrients into your diet, but it is also a great way to build your breakfast–a critical meal for healthy habits. Additionally, to make water more fun, you can add sliced fruits and vegetables in place of flavor additives that often have lots of added sugars.
How do we maintain healthy physical activity levels?
While committing to new exercise habits each year can feel intimidating, there are plenty of great activities and habits that don’t have to be scary and are easily buildable. Researchers have found that as little as 10 minutes of movement can have health benefits! To optimize one’s exercise habits, it is recommended that individuals have 30 minutes of moderate activity each day.
The key to maintaining healthy physical activity levels is moving! Working out at the gym, biking, walking, running, and more are great ways to increase your physical activity. Before and after exercising, it’s also important to stretch since stretching prepares and cools down the body.
Reaching the recommended 30 minutes of activity can be as easy as walking to anything within a mile radius of you. If you are close enough to school or work, walking or riding your bike are great options. However, if you don’t live in a walkable area, walking between shops at a shopping center is a great activity.
How do we maintain a healthy body weight?
Maintaining a healthy body weight is the result of a combination of efforts. Building and consistently encouraging nutrition and activity habits ultimately leads to a healthy body weight. Additionally, combining healthy habits means taking care of your physical and mental health. Ensuring good sleep habits, going offline, learning new things, and practicing mindfulness are all great ways to build a healthy body and mind.
The new year is the perfect time to create new habits! When striving to build a healthier lifestyle, reach out to your chiropractor, who can recommend stretches, exercises, and general behaviors that can help build a holistic plan. Healthy habits start small to create big changes. To begin your journey to a healthy mind and body, contact Dr. Mike at 317-745-5111.