Your health is arguably the most important thing you have. And while we often think we need to make significant changes in order to enjoy better health, the truth is that small tweaks in the details of our lives can make the most noticeable differences. As we embark on a new year, are you willing to make some adjustments?
Try These 5 Small Changes
Let’s be real for a minute. No matter how serious you are about setting big resolutions for 2020, you’ll eventually forget about them.
Are you going to the gym for six spin classes every week? Probably not happening. Completely avoiding all fast food? Not practical. Unplugging your TV and reading 100 books? That doesn’t sound like a recipe for an enjoyable year.
If you really want to make positive strides, it’s all about making small, incremental changes that are easy to integrate into your life with minimal friction. In terms of improving your health, here are some suggestions:
- Eat More Colorful Meals
You can tell a lot about your diet by the color of your foods. The more color you have in your meals (natural – not artificial), the more nutrients you’re getting. Try introducing new fruits and veggies into your weekly meal plan and you’ll naturally start eating healthier.
- Get 30 Minutes of Daily Exercise
There’s no excuse for not exercising. You don’t need to spend two hours lifting weights or running on a treadmill. All it takes is 30 minutes of moderate physical activity to benefit your physical health and emotional well-being. No matter how busy you are, you can carve out half an hour somewhere in your day.
- Find a Good Dentist
Your oral health is closely connected to your heart health. Gum disease is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and other problems. You can’t ignore this aspect of your overall health.
When’s the last time you went to the dentist? If it’s been a while, let 2020 be the year that you finally find a good dentist and schedule regular cleanings and exams. Not sure where to start? Go online.
Finding a good dentist is as easy as typing in your location and reading reviews. For example, searching Scottsdale dentist on a site like Healthgrades will give you reviews and ratings for the best dentists in Scottsdale, Arizona. All you have to do is click a button and you can schedule an appointment!
- Stick to a Sleep Schedule
The average American doesn’t get nearly enough sleep. If you’re like most, you’re sleep-deprived during the week and then try to catch up over the weekend. Unfortunately, this lack of consistency isn’t doing you any favors.
“Establishing a sleep schedule and sticking to it has cured my bouts of insomnia,” Mare Hare tells Real Simple. “I go to bed and get up at the same time every day, and I sprinkle my bed with lavender and play soothing music to help me fall asleep. With a full night’s rest, I have fewer mood swings and my mind stays sharp.”
Try going to bed at the same time every evening. And as hard as it is to get out of bed early on the weekend, train yourself to do it. After a few weeks, your body will be so used to the schedule that you won’t even need an alarm.
- Spend More Time Outside
Humans weren’t designed to spend 20-22 hours indoors every day. We’re built to be outside – even if that means spending time in your own backyard.
“Vitamin D is made by our bodies when sunlight hits our skin, and it’s estimated that over 40 percent of Americans are deficient in vitamin D. Additionally, using the outdoors for de-stressing and relaxation has been shown to be effective, sometimes more so than doing the same activity indoors. ‘Nature therapy’ or ‘forest bathing’ can go a long way toward helping you feel refreshed,” explains Michelle Swader, RDN, MS, CD.
Make it a point to spend more time outside this year. It could be as simple as reading a book on your front porch or taking regular walks with friends.
Live Your Best Life in 2020
Let this be the year that you finally do something about your health. By introducing a few of these small changes into your life, you can take some major strides forward without introducing a ton of unnecessary friction into your daily routines.
Which ones will you embrace?