Small Changes Equal Big Results

You won’t change your whole life overnight. Many of the habits you have today were developed years ago, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying. Start by finding something you can control, such as consciously increasing your activity or switching one food for another. Just by switching out a candy bar for a mid afternoon break to an apple or orange, you can save over 100 calories a day. If you do that consistently, without changing any other habit, you’d lose a pound in just 35 days. You can improve your overall health while lowering your caloric intake when you realize small changes equal big results.

Take the stairs and park away from the building.

If you work in a tall building with an elevator, start to take the stairs. Those who work on high floors, such as the 22nd floor, may want to take the elevator to the 21st floor and then climb the stairs the rest of the way, gradually getting off the elevator earlier and earlier. Find other ways to get more exercise, such as parking at the first open space you find in a parking lot and walking further. It’s a small change, but it burns more calories and gets you fitter faster.

Learn how to make smarter choices when it comes to food.

While the apple and candy bar is one example, there are three meals a day where you can save calories. Instead of ordering a burger at your favorite fast food place, opt for a salad or better yet, pack your own healthy lunch. Switch the way you cook and avoid fried and high fat foods. Keep a stock of fresh veggies ready and instead of using sour cream for the dip, create one with cottage cheese or Greek yogurt. You can leave the cottage cheese as is or put it in the blender. Mix one cup of cottage cheese with a tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice for a dip that’s a third of the calories of sour cream.

Start a program of regular exercise.

Of course, working with the help of a personal trainer provides a great exercise program that helps you achieve your goals, but for those days off, try to keep active. Take a walk, dance to music while you clean and enjoy every minute of it. You’ll not only find your work goes faster, but you’ll also be helping to burn calories and build your endurance. It may be only an extra 15 minutes of vigorous movement, but that’s 15 minutes more than you’d otherwise have.

Smile more. Studies show that people who smile more are healthier, even if they’re faking a smile. You’ll find that you’ll feel better when you do.

Drink more water. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times and sip on it frequently, even if you’re not much of a water drinker. If you guzzle coffee like there’s no tomorrow, switch to water after your first cup. You’ll be amazed at how much more energy it gives you.

Get adequate sleep. People underestimate the importance of sleep and often don’t get enough. Try to get a more if you aren’t getting at least 7-9 hours daily.

Quiet your mind and relax for a minute or two in the middle of a hectic day. Learn to take a few breaths and clear your head to function at your best and help reduce stress.

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