It’s easy to make big resolutions when it comes to your health, but it isn’t so easy to keep your resolutions throughout the year. If you are like millions of people who make New Years resolutions, you call it quits about a month later.
This year, do something different – resolve to make small health changes.
While small changes can seem insignificant, they can add up to big benefits when it comes to your health. Depending on who you ask, researchers say that it takes somewhere between 3 weeks and 2 months to form a habit.
Resolve to Make These 5 Small Changes for Better Health this Year
1. Decrease your salt intake by eating more meals at home
Most of the sodium in our diet comes from processed and restaurant foods, so if you eat restaurant or packaged foods more than a couple of times each week, you have very little control over how much salt you consume. The best way to reduce sodium is to prepare more meals at home, using fresh, whole ingredients.
2. Make half your grains whole
Whole grains can improve digestion and reduce your risk for certain health issues. Whole grain foods include whole wheat bread and pasta, brown rice, and oats.
Aim towards choosing whole grains about half the time. Start by buying whole grains for meals at home and settle for refined grains when eating out.
3. Take a walk
Training for a marathon may be a bit beyond your reach this year, but walking for a few minutes a couple of times a week may be a more manageable goal. Walking requires no special equipment other than a good pair of shoes, and even then, they don’t have to be expensive walking shoes. What’s more, walking is a low-impact activity that provides big benefits.
4. Set a consistent bedtime
Bedtimes aren’t just for kids anymore! Hitting the sack at a consistent time each night can help you manage weight, maintain good health, and awaken refreshed and energized for your day.
5. Make it a Meatless Monday
Cutting out meat can provide impressive health benefits, but jumping into a strict vegetarian or vegan diet is a major change, especially for meat lovers. Instead of ditching meat altogether, try going one day a week without it. Meatless Monday is a fun phrase, but the day of the week doesn’t really matter – you can go for plant-based protein any day of the week as long as you are consistent.
Making any one of these small changes can have a big impact on your health and on the quality of your life. For best results and permanent health benefits that last the whole year through, try making one small change every two to three months.
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