With all the attention given to Covid-19, many people have tried to change their lives via “healthy living”. While some are successful, there are more people who have failed to adapt to the habit of a “healthy diet” they had as a goal or get some sort of daily exercise routine as well as many other things that were on that to-do list. Guest Expert and Go Smile! CEO Rose Wood shares tips on how small health changes can add up to a big payoff – both physically and mentally!
10 Small Health Changes That Can Make a Big Difference
By Rose Wood, CEO of Go Smile!
If you’re like many people, you’re constantly on the quest for good health. But, with all the pressure on eating perfectly and sticking to a rigid physical fitness program, it can feel super-overwhelming to get into and stay into a healthy routine. And while making massive life changes is great, too, it’s often the small changes that result in success. The minor changes, quite simply, are easier to follow and tend to lead to bigger ones down the road.
But don’t mistake small for futile. When done consistently, those seemingly meaningless health changes can add up to a whole lot. Here are a few of the best small habits you can adopt that lead to positive results throughout your life.
1. Practicing Good Dental Hygiene —
The bacteria that lingers in your mouth can cause cavities of course, but did you know it’s also linked to more serious and life-threatening conditions like heart disease? Regularly brushing, flossing, and getting professional cleanings can help keep the bacteria at bay. Using “at-home” teeth-whitening options such as a blue light teeth whitening kit can also help kill the bacteria while leaving your teeth brighter and whiter, which can lead to more confidence and improved mental health. Win-win!
2. Stretching at Least Once a Day —
Never underestimate the power of a good stretch! Keeping muscles limber is key to supporting the entire musculoskeletal system, and it can prevent injuries and prolonged issues with the back, shoulders, and neck. Shoot for at least 15 to 20 minutes of stretching a day.
3. Putting Your Phone Away Before Bed —
That blue glow that lights up your bedroom each night may be messing with your circadian rhythms and affecting your ability to sleep. There are also some pretty solid reasons to believe that too much screen time can negatively affect the eyes, so limit pre-bed phone time as much as you can for a good night’s rest and better eyesight.
4. Taking a Multivitamin —
While you’re probably getting a ton of your essential vitamins and minerals from the food you eat, incorporating a multivitamin into your routine can guarantee it. They’re certainly not a miracle cure, but they can help prevent deficiencies and support crucial functions of the body and brain.
5. Cutting Out Sugary Drinks —
You already know why those sugary teas and sodas need to move straight to the off-limits list! The sugar leads to weight gain, unnecessary spikes in insulin, and decaying teeth. Swapping out your sugary beverages for water (try sparkling water if you need a little carbonation) is a simple, painless way to reduce calorie and sugar intake each day.
6. Going to Bed a Half Hour Earlier —
Getting quality sleep is a non-negotiable for your health and well-being. If you want to be happy and healthy, you need to sleep well. With sleep, it’s all about the small changes. You aren’t going to stick to a routine if you’re moving your bedtime up by three hours, but a half-hour is totally doable. From there, you can move it up incrementally.
7. Tracking What You Eat —
We’re not suggesting that you go on a diet or even change the way you eat. We are simply suggesting that you write down everything that you put into your body, at least five days a week (and every day if you want to monitor food sensitivities). This will help you to be honest with yourself about your eating habits and will open the floodgates for more minor changes, like cutting down on snacking or drinking too many calories.
8. Going to Therapy —
Psychotherapy is one of the most effective forms of treatment for mental health, and integrating it into your life can do wonders for your physical and mental well-being. In fact, research shows that therapy can improve symptoms of depression and anxiety, of course, but it can also lead to lower blood pressure and other positive physical health outcomes.
9. Going on Vacation —
Stress is not good for your health. Seriously, the research shows that prolonged stress can have significant effects on your body and brain, from the respiratory system to the cardiovascular system. The solution? Go to the beach or a yoga retreat or camping in the mountains — anywhere that lets you enjoy a quick respite from the stressors of normal life and press the “reset” button. By the same token, practicing stress-relievers like yoga and spending time with friends and family members should be a pillar of your wellness strategy.
10. Changing Your Work Setup —
The way you sit for multiple hours a day may be having a bigger impact on your body than you might imagine. A poorly positioned work setup or a bad office chair can lead to lifelong back and neck issues, including sciatica and slipped discs. If you work in a largely sedentary job, consider switching to an ergonomic work setup that supports a healthy seated posture and doesn’t put undue strain on your musculoskeletal system.
—Small Changes, Big Rewards
Making sweeping, drastic life changes is commendable, but being mindful of small ones may be equally as advantageous. The truth is that a healthy lifestyle is one that incorporates many small, positive habits rather than one or two massive ones. Leaving room for error and flexibility is key for many people to stick to good habits each and every day. Integrating some of these small health changes can lead to huge benefits now and down the road!
About the Author, Rose Wood
Rose Wood joined GO SMILE! in 2014 and serves as the CEO of GO SMILE. She has managed all facets of GO SMILE’s sales, marketing, product development, customer service, and vendor relationships throughout the United States and across the world. In her free time, Rose enjoys traveling and spending time with her family and friends.
Thanks to Rose Wood for her smart tips and ideas about how to improve your health in small ways that will actually lead you to a greater improvement in your health!
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