Change is something you can try to stop. Try! That’s the important word in the previous sentence. Just try dig your heels in to old habits and see where that gets you. Nowhere. You’ll most likely get dragged backwards in the opposite direction. Instead, you should always be looking to embrace actions that upgrade your routine. Not all at once. Keep it bite sized. Make minor alterations. The ones that you’ll hardly notice. This approach gives you the chance to create substantial upgrades long term without anything coming as such a shock that you can’t wait to return to your old ways. To embrace this spirit of change these are a few every day tweaks you can use to become a little healthier. A little leaner. A step ahead of your old self. Add them one at a time and before you know it, you’ll have changed for the better.
Power up your protein
You probably already bracket your workouts with a protein shake. But go one better. If you have a chocolate flavored shake, add in 15g of cocoa to the mix. A paper in the journal Nutrients found cocoa can protect your blood vessels against the effects of psychological stress and even protect your heart. If you’re stressed this could a way to make your protein shake help you live a little longer.
Embrace the pen
If you’re trying to lose weight, more time on the treadmill isn’t the answer. Take those 10-15 minutes you’d normally dedicate to the ‘mill and spend them writing a food diary. The University of Vermont found doing this daily helped people lose weight more in the long term. It’ll keep your pie-hole accountable and that’s what important for serious improvements.
Do something fun
You may think a physical job gives you the exercise you need. It doesn’t. Research in the European Society of Cardiology found only leisure-based exercise (the fun stuff) reduces your risks of cardiovascular disease and increases longevity. A laboring job does the exact opposite. Your body and brain know the difference. Even if you’re dog tired after a day at the grind, take 10 minutes to cycle around your neighborhood park each day and lap up the good times. Your internal gears will thank you.
Eat one cup to live longer
There’s a killer out there and it fells more men and women than anything else. Heart disease. As many as 1 in 4 people succumb to it each year. How to prevent it? Daily exercise is a big player, but diet is a deadlier enemy to heart disease. If you want to lower your risk by 26% then just eat one cup of leafy green veggies each day, says a paper in the European Journal of Epidemiology. Even if they aren’t super tasty, just lob a few frozen spinach blocks into a smoothie with some sweet fruits and a little protein. You won’t taste the difference, but your heart will reward you with a few more years to your name.
Add one of these little tweaks each week and you’ll hardly even notice the effort they take. It’s the accumulation of the tiniest upgrades that’ll make a bigger difference over time. You’re in it for the long haul, right? Yep, so act accordingly.