Sunday, December 17

Little Changes Can be Vital

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Was that New Year resolution based on changing your life for the better? You could have decided to quit smoking, give up junk food, join a gymnasium or just about anything that would improve your image to the rest of the world.More importantly, it was meant to make you feel better about yourself, but you find it hard to stick to those good intentions, don’t you?

Maybe you just made the mistake of wanting to try too much too soon, and you find yourself slipping backwards.The US government is currently running a health drive where the mantra is a simple one – ‘just one thing a day’ – the American Surgeon General says “The best health regime anyone can adopt is one thing you will really do, and one thing a day is do-able.”

Big change in life is daunting, so why not sneak up on yourself with tiny things you’d normally barely notice?Eat one piece a fruit a day – not a big demand – and cut your risk of heart disease by 20%.Smile and laugh a lot – this promotes endorphin production in the brain, which you makes you feel good.

Reduce cholesterol by up to 11% by eating just two carrots a day.Use the stairs instead of the elevator where you can – any extra exercise is good news.Try pacing up and down when answering the phone as well. He average office worker would be surprised how much exercise this can give them in a day.

Change to using organic foods and reduce the risk of pesticide exposure. Dab the excess oil off foods with kitchen towel before eating – you’d be amazed how much fat you’ll cut out over the year.Limit the biscuits you like with your coffee to one instead of two and save 80 calories in one go.

Switch to sweeteners in your hot drinks instead of sugar – you’ll lose an average 170 calories that way.Try drinking just plain water instead at some times – it can make a big difference to your diet, and one glass of fruit juice a day will reduce the risk of strokes by 25%.Ten minutes daily of Yoga type, gentle stretching exercise will burn off 200 calories, make you sleep better and less likely to suffer depression.

Try using lemon juice on food instead of salt – it gives a similar taste sensation and is much better for you.If you can’t kick the smoking habit, get into eating strawberries, because they help you expel benzopyrene – a carcinogen in cigarette smoke – and drink orange juice, because an ingredient in that is also helpful.

Reduce the risk of gastric cancer by drinking one cup of green tea a day, and reduce the risk of hip fractures by 40% with just two minutes of star jumps daily.Cut out the mayo – the average user could save 3000 calories a month this way – and eat nuts instead of potato chips, because they help you to live longer.

Think colour when you decide to eat fruit and vegetables. Swap the iceberg lettuce for rocket and the green peppers for red ones, and you’ll be getting three times as much vitamin C in one go. The intensity of the colour tells you how nutritious the fruit or vegetable is – the brighter, the better as a rule.

If you intend to work out, then you might be interested to know that it is far better for you to do it in small stages through the day than to go for one 30-minute session. Three lots of ten minutes – spaced out – will help you lose weight faster and boost immunity levels.Eat a meal of oily fish – like tuna or salmon – at least once a week.This boosts immunity to heart disease by up to 33%.

Taken as a whole, these sorts of changes could make a big difference to your life, but taking it one day at a time, and making these small changes gradually should mean that you start to notice – in your daily routine – how much happier and healthier you ‘suddenly’ feel.

It has a knock on effect too, because the better you feel about yourself physically, the better is your mental self image, and the more popular you are with your peers.Sit back and relax for a minute, while you mull it over.One a day really isn’t that much to ask of yourself, now is it, and in the end, those little things can mean an awful lot.

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