Health resolutions don’t work. They don’t work because they always take the form of vague, long-term goals (lose 60 lbs. and become a vegan) with zero time devoted to short-term and daily goals. In other words, what are you doing right now to create healthy change in your life? What daily, weekly, and monthly changes are you going to make that will get you toward your big-picture goal?
The best way to accomplish this is in incremental steps. These are small changes made gradually over time until you are left with a whole new set of healthy habits. This method is painless because you are not trying to do everything all at once. Here are 4 new healthy habits that are easy to adopt into your daily routine.
Ditch the Diet
At first, this may seem counter-intuitive. It’s not and here’s why: The vast majority of people who lose weight on a diet end up regaining it. The reason for this is simple: Diets only work when you are “on” them. Once you go off of them and start eating normally, the weight comes piling back on. A restrictive diet is not a natural way to eat and therefore are not a sustainable program for long term health.
Follow these simple rules. If it is white, don’t eat it. This will automatically eliminate sugar, salt and refined flour from your diet, without too much effort. Also ditch anything that has those ingredients on its label. If it came out of a box, don’t eat it. This eliminates processed, chemical-laden foods. If it came out of the ground or had a mother you can eat it. The more plants, the better. Eating healthy is literally that simple.
Use Lemon Water
Most people eat foods that produce an acidic effect in the body, causing your body to pull calcium from the bones in order to maintain proper blood pH. Over time, this leads to a host of health problems including osteoarthritis.
Begin the day with a glass of warm lemon water to produce an alkalizing effect in the body. Ironically, lemon juice turns alkaline once in the body (in fact, all fruits and vegetables do) so beginning your day with this drink helps cleanse your liver, which has been working all night cleaning your blood of any impurities that you may have picked up.
This may seem trivial, but it’s not. Especially flossing, which most people don’t do enough. This small habit that your parents tried to instill in you actually has major health consequences if left undone. If you have implants, you should take extra care of your oral health. Some companies, like the NYC Center for Dental Implants, knows that most implants only require basic upkeep to maintain. The bacteria that lives on and between your teeth or implants will grow there if not removed. This results in swollen and tender gums that become prone to bleeding. If this happens, the bacteria can enter your bloodstream and quickly cause a serious infection. Blood touches every cell in your body (it’s what delivers nutrients) so you definitely want to keep bacteria out of it, and brushing and flossing are the easiest ways to do that. Use a good antiseptic mouthwash before brushing to loosen plaque and kill bacteria, then brush for at least a minute, followed by flossing.
Move Around Daily
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to go to a gym and workout like Arnold Schwarzenegger to get good results. The human body was designed to function as a unit, so all those isolation exercises such as curls are not needed. Rather than hours in a gym, huge health gains can be had by running short distances, then walking. Or just working outside in your garden. Playing with a dog or hiking in the woods. Just a brisk walk every day will immediately lower your blood sugar and reduce stress, two contributing factors to virtually every metabolic disease that currently plagues our society. Choose how you best like to exercise, keep it enjoyable and incorporate new ideas and routines and do it daily.
Big Doors Swing on Small Hinges
Again, the most reliable way to create the kind of change that lasts longer than your motivation is to just adopt small easy to implement changes.
Research show that it takes 21 days to create a new habit, and 90 days to make it an irreversible part of your life i.e. something that you have to do. So just start with the tiny stuff first. What you will find is that the tiny things quickly add up into big things, and before you know it, you’re well on your way to hitting those long-term goals that once seemed out of reach.