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Wellness@Work: How to make small changes to improve your health 

How to make small changes to improve your health 

By Ann Payne-Johnson, M.D., M.S.
Family Medicine Center

New Year’s resolutions can become old really fast, especially if they are too ambitious. To successfully make positive changes in your life, start small. 

Making small changes to improve your health can have a significant impact over time. Here are some ways to get started: 

  • Move more. Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine by taking short walks, using the stairs instead of the elevator, or stretching regularly. These small bursts of physical activity can contribute to improved physical and mental well-being. 
  • Hydrate. Drink more water throughout the day. Staying adequately hydrated supports various bodily functions and can help with energy levels, digestion, and overall health. 
  • Eat mindfully. Practice mindful eating by savoring your meals, paying attention to hunger and fullness cues, and incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet. 
  • Get quality sleep. Prioritize sleep by establishing a consistent sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and ensuring a comfortable sleep environment. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night. 
  • Manage stress. Incorporate stress-relief practices, such as deep breathing, meditation, or engaging in hobbies you enjoy. Managing stress is vital for overall health and well-being. 
  • Eat healthy snacks. Choose nutritious snacks like fruits, nuts or yogurt instead of reaching for processed or sugary options. Even small changes in snacking habits can contribute to improved nutrition. 
  • Limit screen time. Reduce screen time before bed and during meals. Instead, engage in activities that promote mental stimulation or relaxation, such as reading, listening to music, or spending time with loved ones. 
  • Reframe negative thoughts. Practice reframing negative thoughts into positive or neutral ones. This can contribute to improved mental well-being and reduce stress. 
  • Connect with others. Make an effort to connect with friends, family, or community. Strong social connections are beneficial for mental and emotional health. 
  • Get regular check-ups. Schedule regular appointments with healthcare professionals to monitor your health and address any concerns proactively. 

By introducing these small changes into your daily life, you can gradually improve your overall health and well-being. Plus, the feeling of success may motivate you to incorporate even more healthy habits! 

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