During the pandemic we’ve gotten used to certain behaviors: making coffee, reading the news, playing a game on a phone, checking our email. These actions now account for nearly half of the average person’s daily activities, according to research by Wendy Wood, a psychology professor at the University of Southern California and author of Good Habits, Bad Habits. “We do the same thing in the same context almost every day,” she says. “And we do it without thinking about it.” Intentionally or not, we’ve spent the past year or so creating new, often unhealthy habits.
It’s time to take a step back and try to actively improve our automated behaviors or habits. The habits you set now may be the habits you stick with for life. Consciously try to set new patterns in your life. Let’s talk about three simple habits that make a great difference in your health.
I. Walk Every Morning
First, I’m going to recommend that you go for a walk every morning to get your exercise in. If you find that you enjoy your morning walks, then you can also include an evening walk as part of your day, but baby steps. Aim for about 30 minutes of walking in the morning and you will find a range of benefits come from this. First, your metabolism will be kick started so this will make it easier for your body to digest food during the day. As well as this, it will help you wake you up and get you started for the day ahead!
It might feel difficult in the beginning as you are adding something new to the routine, but if you stick to it, eventually it is going to feel far more weird if you don’t complete your morning walk.
II. Make Better Food Choices
Another thing that you should look at doing is making better food choices. Don’t depend on take out food most of the time. Don’t allow yourself to give into temptation and instead plan for the week ahead. Ensure that your meals are filled with fresh vegetables to give you the nutrition that you need. Meal planning a week at a time helps organize your weekly shopping and gives you a foundation to work from. Include a salad everyday. A 2017 study by Rush University Medical Center showed that just one serving of leafy greens a day was associated with slower cognitive decline.
III. Get Regular Check Ups
Finally, go for regular checkups with your doctor. See your primary physician at least annually even if you have no physical problems. If you experience a problem then call for an appointment to discuss it. Make a note of the symptoms and tell the doctor any changes you’ve noted. No matter the problem, simple tests can help to determine the nature and severity of it. Whether you are experiencing trouble sleeping, headaches, or even signs of tinnitus, you may simply need a test or a referral to a specialist.
In conclusion . . .
Be physically active for 30 minutes most days of the week. Plan your meals and eat a variety of vegetables and fruits. Have check-ups with your physician and take tests recommended.
This is a collaborative post but all opinions are my own. Photos via Pexels.
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