Little Changes That Add Up to Better Health

Little Changes That Add Up to Better Health

These five little changes in your daily routine could help make a big difference.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle can seem a little out of reach. But if you tackle this worthy goal in small, bite-sized chunks, you can begin improving your health one step at a time.


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1. Pay Attention to Serving Sizes
When was the last time you actually measured out a recommended serving size of your favorite breakfast cereal? It’s easy to let portion sizes exceed the “official” serving size listed on the package — especially if the food is packaged to make you think two servings are only one, such as large bagels (when a serving is one-half of a bagel) or soda (when a 20-ounce bottle contains 2.5 servings).

Every time you consume more than a serving, you’re getting more calories than you might think, which adds up to more pounds than you want! If you make it a habit to notice the serving size of each food you eat and stick to that, you’ll cut lots of excess calories — and you might eventually shed some pounds, too.

2. Get More Fiber
The recommended daily amount of fiber for an adult is about 25 to 30 grams. It would take a lot of servings of whole-grain cereals, fruits and vegetables to get that much fiber. If you need a little help reaching your fiber goals, try a fiber supplement.

3. Get Your Omega-3s
Omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in fish, have been linked to health benefits from boosting your immune system to brain health to cardiovascular benefits. In fact, the United States Department of Agriculture food pyramid recommends that people eat at least two, 4-ounce meals of fatty fish per week.

Where can you get your omega-3s? As the food pyramid suggests, you’ll find them in fatty fish such as tuna, salmon and mackerel.

4. Turn Your TV Into Personal Trainer
The average American television viewer watches more than 151 hours of television per month, according to the Nielsen Company, which compiles television statistics. Why not use at least some of that TV-watching time to be more active? It’s easier than ever, thanks to cable channels devoted to fitness, digital video recorders and DVD rental subscription services. Tune into a Pilates workout before you watch the morning news or pop in a new cardio-salsa video after a stressful day at work. You can get in great shape without having to leave your living room.

5. Play 30 Minutes a Day
Goofing around as a “grown-up” might seem childish, but it can be good for you. Instead of sitting on a bench while the kids storm the playground or your dog runs around the backyard, get out there and join in the fun! Not only does active play burn calories without seeming like a chore, but it also clears your mind and recharges your spirit.

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