Creating New Health Habits

Implementing new health habits is easier when done one at a time. Multiple sudden changes in diet and exercises are often difficult adjustments. It is easier to begin one healthy habit at a time.

New Year’s is a time for resolutions and change. People frequently make New Year’s resolutions to get fitter, become healthier and/or lose weight. These powerful resolutions are a huge step to living a healthier, fitter, more functional life.

Starting a new healthy habit at the beginning of every month is an effective way to build a healthier mind and body. At the end of the year, you will have twelve new habits. Each new habit may seem minor at the time but the positive effects of these twelve new health habits accumulates. The collective outcome is extremely powerful.

You can begin with an easy one if you like. For example, in January your new health habit may be the elimination of high sugar drinks from your diet. This may prove difficult for many but replacing soda with a healthy drink has a tremendous effect on your health. Benefits will be felt immediately.

Whatever you choose for your new monthly health habit must be your decision and must be continued after the month is over. Do not make the new health habit a temporary change. These are lifelong health changes that you are making so choose wisely and work at sticking to your new healthy habit.

After your successful first month you will feel a huge sense of accomplishment. Continue your path to a healthier you by starting a new health habit in February. For example, you may choose to start performing cardiovascular exercise for thirty minutes three times a week.

Cardiovascular exercise like walking, running, cycling, dancing or using the elliptical machine strengthens your heart and lungs while burning calories and building endurance. Modify your schedule and allot yourself enough time to perform your cardiovascular training.

Never begin an exercise program without checking with your physician. Begin exercising at a level that is appropriate for you. If you cannot perform thirty minutes, then start at a level that works for you. If you can only walk for four minutes, then do it and gradually increase in small, calculated increments. If symptoms appear or something does not feel quite right, you should stop immediately. Never work through pain or symptoms.  

Whichever healthy habit you decide to implement each month is your decision. Become determined to employ a new habit on the first of every month and create a healthier you.

It is always good to cool down after exercising. Performing slow static stretches after training increases muscle flexibility, improves joint range of motion and reduces muscle tension. If you started performing cardiovascular exercises in February, then in March you can add ten minutes of static stretching afterwards as your new health habit.

If your lower back and hamstrings are tight, concentrate on stretching those areas. Stretching should never hurt or elicit symptoms. Move slowly into a stretch while exhaling. Hold a mild, comfortable stretch for thirty to sixty seconds and then gradually return to your starting position.

By the end of three months, you should be noticing results and feeling better. Continue on your health journey by adding a new healthy habit in April. For example, you may want to improve your sleeping patterns by purchasing a new pillow, a new mattress, a leg separator or a leg wedge or a combination of these products.

Sleep is vital to our health. Proper sleep allows us to completely recover from the previous day and to wake up rejuvenated. If you are not sleeping well or waking up with pain, then a new pillow or mattress may be the answer.

The list of minor and major health habits you can add each month is almost endless. Examples include eating berries as a snack instead of junk food, executing strength training three times a week, consuming ocean caught fish instead of domestic beef two to three times a week, subscribing to a fitness or health magazine or newsletter, buying a lumbar support for your office chair, using a foam roller, performing postural correction exercises, executing core strengthening exercises on a fitball and attending a health seminar.

Take action and begin today by implementing a new health habit. Choose one you like and build on it. Add a new health habit each month and you will be much healthier and fitter in one year.

Dr Donald A Ozello DC of Championship Chiropractic in Las Vegas, NV

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**Disclaimer: Always consult a medical professional before beginning an exercise program. Always work within your capabilities. Never perform an exercise that elicits or increases pain or symptoms. Reading this article and viewing the linked videos does not take the place of seeing a medical professional. Please visit a medical professional for evaluation, diagnosis & treatment.

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