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7 Small Changes That Lead to Lasting Healthy Habits

These small changes might lead to better health.

Building lasting health habits, woman and water bottle

We’ve all said it before: “I’ll start on Monday.” Well, do you ever actually start on Monday and stick with it? Why not start today?

Creating healthy habits might seem like a little too much at first, but the thing about habits is that they start to stick and feel normal after a while. So, if you have been having a hard time introducing healthy habits into your life and sticking with them, never fear. Starting with tiny changes may help you set goals and reach them.

1. Walk, walk, walk

Did you know that walking can be one of the most effective exercises to keep you healthy? And all you need is your feet! You should aim to go on a walk for thirty minutes or more a day, especially if you have a desk job. Taking a walk is a great way to use your lunch break, increase your heartrate, and burn a few calories.

Related: New Year's Resolutions for People Who Hate Setting Goals

2. Breakfast is your new best friend

Breakfast jumpstarts your metabolism and boosts your brain power, and people who eat breakfast tend to have a lower Body Mass Index (BMI). Including protein in your breakfast like eggs or peanut butter will give you the energy you need to be more active in the day and reduce your cravings for sweets.

3. Give yourself a bedtime

The benefits of getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep a night can’t be beat. Getting enough sleep protects you from health problems, manages your hunger, boosts your immune system, and keeps your memory in check. Catching serious ZZzs needs to be a priority in your life.

4. Move the way you want

People often stop exercising because they aren’t enjoying the exercise they are doing. The key to maintaining your health and even losing weight for good isn’t always a strict exercise program. Instead, you should try different activities or ways of exercising until you find one that speaks to you. If you find something you love, you’re more likely to stick to it—whether it’s hiking up a waterfall, biking to the park, or even having a dance party while simultaneously vacuuming your house.

Related: 5 Ways to Make Those New Year's Resolutions Stick

5. Dark chocolate can be your saving grace

Eating a square of dark chocolate (that’s at least 70% cocoa) a day can reduce your cravings for junk food and sweets. It also can suppress the levels of the hormone that controls hunger.

6. Prep your food

After a long eight hours at work, it can be hard to pass fast food restaurants and convince yourself that you have food to eat at home. But if you prepare your meals for the week, you’ll be more likely to eat at home and save yourself from those hundreds of extra calories and oversized portions you would get from a restaurant.

Eating out once in a while is definitely okay. But if you’re trying to maintain your weight or to be healthier, consider making one more meal at home a week—it just might make a big difference with your goals.

7. Reach for that water bottle

Water is literally the liquid of life. 70% of your body is water, and it always needs more. It’s recommended that you drink eight full glasses of water a day to get the maximum health benefits (and more if you exercise).

Water gives the many processes taking place in your body a much-needed boost—like detoxing your digestive system, maintaining your blood pressure, and increasing your endurance during exercise. And it just might aid your weight loss efforts when you drink it before meals. Try keeping a refillable water bottle with you at work—it will help you reach for water instead of your favorite diet soda.

What healthy changes have you made recently? Tell us on Facebook—we’d love to hear from you. And while you’re here, check out our other articles on healthy living.

 

SelectHealth may link to other websites for your convenience. SelectHealth does not expressly or implicitly recommend or endorse the views, opinions, specific services, or products referenced at other websites linked to the SelectHealth site, unless explicitly stated.

The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.

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Post Author

Chakell Wardleigh
Chakell has a B.A. in English and is a magazine editor. She enjoys exercising, laughing with family and friends, and online shopping. She strives to be as versatile as cauliflower, which she often turns into pizza.