Sometimes you can reap big rewards simply by making little changes. Here are 10 things you can do to start living a healthier life today:
1. Enjoy some “me” time. Regularly having a little time to yourself can help you manage stress and recharge, both mentally and physically.
2. Socialize. Spending time with supportive family and friends can help you create a nurturing network of people you can lean on during tough times, making physical and/or mental challenges more manageable.
3. Drink wisely. In addition to watching what you eat to manage your weight, pay attention to what you drink. Choose water, low-fat milk or 100% percent fruit juice instead of sugary sodas and calorie-dense smoothies.
4. Eat more fruits and veggies. Use the USDA’s MyPlate program as a guide to healthy eating, and include vegetables in meals and snacks anytime you can. Add berries to whole-grain breakfast cereal, layer spinach leaves and apple slices on sandwiches and fill half your dinner plate with salad.
5. Choose whole grains. When eating bread, cereal and other grain products, go with whole-grain options at least half of the time.
6. Snack. Eating between meals is a good way to squeeze in a little extra nutrition and keep your energy level up. Choose healthy options the majority of the time, but indulge occasionally, as deprivation often leads to overeating later.
7. Take a walk. The CDC recommends getting at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity at least five days a week. Doing so can be as easy as walking at a brisk pace.
8. See your doctor. Schedule wellness visits as well as appointments for recommended screening tests. Procedures such as a mammogram, cholesterol screening, blood pressure check, colonoscopy and others can be important tools for living healthy.
9. Kick the habit. Health benefits are evident after only 12 hours, and after ten years, your risk of dying from lung cancer drops to about half that of a person who has continued to smoke.
10. Go to bed. Sleep is directly related to health and wellbeing. Getting adequate sleep can help boost mood, improve memory, reduce the risk of depression, fight inflammation and more. And according to the National Sleep Foundation, the majority of adults function best with between 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night.