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Every January 1st, bread suddenly starts to have calories again and millions of people make drastic changes to their habits to adapt. The truth is that large, sudden changes to accommodate lofty New Year’s Resolutions rarely last — 80 percent of resolutions are toast (like the bread we’ll all be eating) by February. Sometimes it’s the small things in your routine, like simply brushing your teeth 😏 (which can reduce risk for cardiovascular disease), that make the biggest difference. Here are some other tiny habits to integrate with your routine that can help improve your health in 2019 and beyond… that will also last.
Ignore your notifications in the AM.
When you wake up and check your phone, you’re letting external forces guide what you’re thinking about first-thing and seeing all of the things you’ve missed out on. This can be unhealthy for your mental health and cause feelings of anxiety, while also getting your morning off on the wrong foot/thought. Instead, do something simple like drinking a cup of water or brewing a cup of coffee *before* looking at all your missed notifications. It might also be best to go back to the times when our alarm clocks and phones were kept seperate, so you’re not automatically checking your phone in the morning.
Find balance (really).
Life is a balancing act, but we rarely do anything in our everyday lives to practice our own physical balance. While you’re brushing your teeth, balance on each of your legs for about 10 seconds at a time. Doctors say this simple, everyday habit can help maintain your agility and mobility, along with your balance. Talk about killing two habits with one two-minute brushing routine...
Stack water drinking.
We’d all benefit from drinking a bit more water, but it’s easier said than done. Drinking more water is another one of those resolutions that ends up running dry, because it’s hard to place it within your routine and consistently remember. The trick to sticking with any good routine is matching it with another part of your routine, or “stacking” it. If you drink a big glass of water before checking your phone and starting with the rest of your routine in the morning, your routine becomes dependent on it. You can even “stack” drinking water with other daily events, like making filling your water bottle the first thing you do at work in the morning.
Forget about efficiency.
Efficiency isn’t always productive! If you park a little further away from the store or take the stairs instead of the escalator, you’re getting a little extra exercise in without even trying. Most calories are burned by our daily lives anyways, not through working out, and it’s much healthier for your body and mind to get a few extra steps in.
Eat differently, but it doesn’t have to be every day.
It’s not always realistic to stick to a strict diet 24/7. You can still eat tasty meals without going all-in, and make some changes every once in awhile that can improve your health. Fish is a healthier alternative to red meat, and choosing it instead of red meat can have a big impact on your health — even if it’s not for every meal. Going meatless one day a week can have the same effects too, helping to reduce risk of cancer and heart problems.