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Little changes can add up to big things!

Little changes can add up to big things!

Do you have a health goal? A lot of people think they’d like to lose weight, eat better, be fit, or even build a more positive attitude. If you’re one of them, experts agree that baby steps are the best way to go. Below are some helpful tips from expert sources. And remember: even those who’ve made truly giant leaps started with baby steps.
Take stock
The best first step toward healthy living is to get a clear picture of where you stand today.

1. Set up visits to your chiropractor. Make appointments for routine check-ups and prevention, and to ask your doctor any questions. Keeping your spine and nervous system healthy are great ways to be pro-actice and keep health care costs low.

2. Measure your height, weight, and around your waist to see if you’re overweight and if your waistline is putting your health at risk.

3. Measure your activity. The CDC says adults should get at least two-and-a-half hours of moderate aerobic activity or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week. Adults should also do muscle-building activities at least two days per week.

4. Keep a food diary. Make a complete list of everything you eat for at least one day. You may be surprised at what you see – and how easy it is to make a few changes.

5. How’s your mood? Ask yourself about your mood, energy level, and general outlook. Also, think about how much sleep you get each night. Is it enough?

6. How’s your social life? How strong is your social or spiritual life? Good relationships are important.

Taking an honest look at yourself is the best way to set healthy living goals and start making things better.

The big things
Do you have chronic health problems like heart disease, diabetes, depression, arthritis, or other long-term illness? Put them at the top of your “work on” list. Smoking and addictions of any kind are also important things to deal with right away. And because tackling these issues isn’t a do-it-yourself task, partner with us to be your health coach. Call today and schedule that appointment 512-345-9355.

Ready, set … move!
Here are a few tips on ways to make a more active life easier to start.

Set a weekly goal. Make your first goal an easy one. At the end of the week, reward yourself with a healthy gift to yourself.

Keep track. “Put big Xs on the days that you exercise,” says Kathianne Sellers Williams, a nutritionist, wellness coach, and personal trainer. “Keep a visual record that you look at frequently” to remind and motivate you, she says.

Make it fun. Do something you like. Go on a hike, or bike with friends. Try fencing or salsa dancing.

Work activity into your day. “Even if you have 10 minutes, it’s better than zero minutes," Williams says. She suggests a 10-minute walk before lunch or getting your blood moving by walking up and down the stairs when you’re feeling tired. Speaking of one step at a time, a pedometer is a great way to see how many steps you take during a typical day. Health experts say to aim for 10,000 steps per day. You could also work with a personal trainer to design an exercise plan.

Improve your diet
Williams offers some great tips for healthier eating – and for healthier thinking about eating. Here are two of our favorites:

Say “I choose” instead of “I should.” Instead of nagging yourself with “I should be eating better”, try “I choose to eat better.” You can also say “I choose not to eat that big bowl of ice cream.” Williams says the more powerful language shows that you’re in control and you’re making the choice.

Guilt is pointless. “Usually, whenever someone feels guilty about something, it feeds right back to the behavior that they’re trying to get rid of,” Williams says. “So if someone is an emotional eater and they say, ‘I know I shouldn't be doing this,’ it implies more guilt and judgment on themselves, they feel worse, and then they end up eating to comfort themselves.”

Other tips: Stock your pantry with healthy food, and keep healthy snacks around. They help if you suddenly get hungry, or are tempted by that co-worker’s leftover birthday cake. Also, slow down your eating, and taste each bite.

Turn off the TV or computer, stop the car, and sit and enjoy what you’re eating. Williams says, “You’re much more likely to feel psychologically satisfied if you don’t multitask while you’re eating.”

Finally, aim for five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day. And eat lots of different colors of veggies and fruit. Experts say to “eat the rainbow,” and they’re right. Foods of different colors have different vitamins and minerals, so a lot of color is a good mix.

Don’t let stress get you down
Stress is one of the biggest enemies of positive life changes. Whether it’s something that happens at work or a long-term problem like an aging loved one, how you deal with stress has everything to do with how you feel about life.

A two-pronged stress management plan can be a very good idea. First, put together a “maintenance” program to strengthen your coping skills and build a foundation. Things you can use here include meditation, exercise, yoga, and other regular stress-reducing activities to help you “stay centered.”

The second set of tools to develop is for “surprise” stress. A fight with a co-worker, a near-car-accident, or what have you: Williams says that doing things like running up and down the stairs a few times or finding a quiet place to take a few deep breaths and refocus can help you recover more quickly.2

These small steps can help you begin your journey to well-being. You have a healthier, happier life ahead of you if you’re willing to take that first step and then each step after that.

"Watching Your Back,"

Your Health Coach,

Dr. Ross Coccimiglio

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