The problem with saying you want to live healthy is that it often feels like a goal that’s too big to reach. That’s why so many people set an intention for healthy living at the beginning of a new year but eventually fall short of their expectations. Instead of feeling like you can’t live up to such a big goal, a smart strategy is to break it down into small steps that are easy to incorporate into your already busy life.
An Ounce of Prevention
They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and we think this is a great guideline for kickstarting your healthy habits. Whatever your specific goals are, what we all ultimately want is to prevent health problems.
Before changing your daily habits, think about any health concerns or risks you have. For example, if you’re at an unhealthy weight, you know that losing a few pounds can help you prevent health issues like heart disease and even cancer. Or if you’re a senior, part of your healthy living plan should include preventing health risks like falls and broken bones.
Starting with these risks is smart because you can then tailor your efforts to what your body needs most. One example of how this works in real life is for seniors to use exercise as a way to prevent problems. Exercising can help you manage or prevent the onset of diabetes, plus improving strength and balance prevents falls that can be devastating for seniors.
Make a Plan That Will Stick
Knowing your health risk factors is a great place to start, but how do you make healthier habits stick? VeryWell Fit explains that the trick to making these health habits stick for the long-term is to take small steps. These are just a few easy ideas to get you started:
- Move More: When you know you need to get into gear with fitness, consider some ideas that seem doable for your lifestyle. Some people find success by working with a personal trainer a few days a week. Doing this may seem scary at first, but the schedule gets you in the door and the expertise helps you keep going. Another easy way to get more active is to simply walk more. Do you have a short break at work? Why not use that time to go for a walk? If you enjoy the outdoors, you’ll boost your health and happiness even more by getting outside for a hike or a walk in the park.
- Make Mealtime Swaps: Eating better is another goal that feels enormous until you break it down into strategies you’ll actually do. That’s why, instead of dieting, we suggest picking one healthy eating strategy at a time and really focus on it. Once it becomes a habit, try another one. Some good healthy eating strategies include planning your meals, swapping out a processed snack for a whole food option, and adding more vegetables to your diet. Another idea is to replace white rice with healthier varieties like brown, jasmine, or wild rice, and there are tons of delicious rice recipes that can really give your diet a boost.
- Catch Those ZZZs: According to The Mayo Clinic, getting enough sleep is a basic requirement that sets the stage for all other health habits. The good news is that a healthier diet and exercise should help you sleep better, but your sleep habits can make a major difference, too. Implement a bedtime routine where you avoid screens for 30 minutes before bed and read a book instead. The CBD Reviewer also explains the benefits of adding a CBD product to your evening routine to promote sleep. For example, an evening bath with some de-stressing CBD soap can provide a double-whammy of relaxation, or a few drops of CBD oil can give you an extra dose of relaxation
- Ward off Stress: Stress can have a serious impact on your overall health and well-being, and eliminating stress can be fairly simple. Practices like yoga, meditation, journaling, breathing exercises, and even deep home cleaning and organizing will go a long way toward warding off the negative effects of stress.
Work on incorporating better habits into your routine gradually, just as you do for any other health goals. After all, we’re all creatures of habit, so you can’t expect to make drastic changes overnight. There’s nothing wrong with setting big goals, but you’ll be more successful when you start with small steps to reach them.
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