Vincent Van Gogh once said, “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” When it comes to our health, truer words were never spoken!
Taking baby steps over giant leaps may even be more effective than diving in headfirst, and here’s why: small goals are attainable. That means you’re more likely to succeed when you attempt to conquer them, easing yourself in until you’re ready to make the big changes.
Small never means inconsequential, though, especially when it comes to your well-being. Here are some of the minor habit adjustments you can take, from taking CBD oil for sleep to jazzing up your flossing routine, that will add up to major ones over time.
By now, you probably already know that the bacteria in your mouth may be responsible for more than just cavities and bad breath. In fact, more and more research points to a connection between gum disease and heart disease, which means forgetting to floss is a bigger deal than you thought it was. Get yourself motivated by investing in a water flosser or trying some tasty, flavored varieties.
Are you on the CBD train yet? There’s a reason why this hemp-derived compound has taken the world by storm, and it has to do with its high-potential health benefits. Unlike their psychoactive cousins, CBD products don’t give you a “high” feeling. Instead, they make you feel calm and comfy so you can drift off to sleep. CBD is also known to bring pain-relieving effects and support your ability to ward off depression.
For some of us, it’s not the actual habits that need adjusting, but simply the scheduling and frequency. Consider placing some limits on when you do certain behaviors — drinking alcohol, eating full-sugar treats, etc. — and limiting yourself to these things only on weekends or certain days. This not only helps you cut down on your vices, but it also breaks the dependencies that keep you reaching for them in the first place. Just make sure you don’t overdo it and binge on the weekends to make up for it. Place limits on weekends, too! As they say, all things in moderation.
Packing your lunch is one of the simplest yet most revolutionary ways to enhance your health. The fact is that, if you’ve pre-planned healthy things to eat throughout the day, you’ll be a whole lot less likely to hit the vending machine, the office snack drawer or the worst of them all — the fast food drive-thru! If you’re not big on the full lunch pack, at least bring along some yogurt, cottage cheese or granola bars to prevent you from binging or resorting to unhealthy snacks during the day.
Banning the scale is a good thing and a bad thing, depending on your circumstances. It can be bad because weight should never be treated as a sole or whole indicator of good health. On top of that, weight changes drastically, and it’s normal for the scale to fluctuate a few pounds throughout the day. With that said, your weight can be a partial indicator of your overall health, and it’s easy to measure at home. Just make sure not to weigh yourself more than once a week and even less than that if you notice it triggers eating issues or anxiety.
Sugary beverages like soda should be treated as once-in-a-while treats, nothing more. Not only is soda extremely high in empty calories — that is, calories that don’t actually fill you up — but it’s also packed with tons of sugar that’s awful for your metabolism and heart health. Love carbonation? Try swapping soda with flavored sparkling water to keep some fizz in your life. Fizz = joy.
Ever go to the grocery store on an empty stomach? Then you know how hard it is to resist piling the cart high with junk food. Those cookies, chips and premade foods from the deli just look so good when you’re starving. The thing is, they probably won’t look so great after you eat, and they certainly won’t help you reach your personal health goals. Only hit the grocery store after you’ve had a full meal.
Those of us who lead a sedentary lifestyle need to consciously put effort into getting extra exercise, so you want to do everything you can to avoid short-cutting or taking the easy route. If your options are the elevator or the stairs, always take the stairs. If given the opportunity, park as far from the door as you can. Walk to get lunch or groceries. Take a stroll to the neighborhood mailbox. All of these are super simple ways to boost the amount of physical exercise you get each day.
It’s true that small changes add up. Think of the way you care for your body like the way you care for your car — routine maintenance (prevention) helps avert major issues and breakdowns (diseases, chronic conditions, death). Flossing, wearing sunscreen and getting plenty of good-quality sleep are akin to tasks like putting air in your tires, getting an oil change or swapping out the windshield wipers. A little bit of maintenance will make your motor run for a whole lot longer, both literally and metaphorically!
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