What if you didn’t need to think about making a New Year’s Resolution to get healthy every year? Instead of making temporary choices to modify your behaviors, try making lifestyle changes geared to last year after year.
That might sound hard, but all it really involves is changing out bad health habits for good ones over time. Poor health results from daily, oftentimes mindless choices we make day after day and year after year. So, drastic changes that ultimately don’t alter those ingrained choices will only go so far and last so long to improve your wellbeing. These realities are why I created Understand Healthy. The program guides you in implementing 10 new healthy habits over the course of 30 weeks.
If you know you need to make lifestyle changes, here are 5 habits that I think are essential to boost your well-being.
Lift weights 2-3x a week: Building muscle mass is the best way to help your body process sugar in the blood. And in the US, we have a major problem with excess blood sugar – aka type two diabetes. When more than 1 in 3 people have pre-diabetes but over 80% aren’t aware of it, lifting weights can not only guard against pre-diabetes but also keep you from becoming diabetic.
Cut out stress: Stress is inflammatory, plain and simple. You may not be able to see inflammation happening externally, but it can wreak havoc internally. Long term effects of inflammation are linked to many of the same chronic diseases associated with obesity.
Decrease processed foods: Consuming processed foods is a double whammy. First, you’re not getting real nutrition that God designed to fuels our bodies from whole foods. But second, what you are consuming are man-made, fake food substances that your body isn’t designed to process. Over time, this leads to dysfunction and disease.
Walk for 10 minutes 3 times a day: It’s certainly not a newsflash that we’re less active today than in previous generations. The easiest way to increase your activity level is by simply walking every day. Plus, if you time these walks to come after eating a meal, you’ll boost your body’s ability to take in and process the foods you just ate.
Eat a savory breakfast: Rather than starting your day with sugary breakfast foods that are often processed and devoid of nutrition, start your day by revving your metabolism with a savory meal. Eating breakfast is a must to fuel yourself for the day. Consuming something (especially whole, fibrous foods) that won’t spike your blood sugar but will take longer to digest is the best way to get your body and brain going.
Instead of drastic changes, these 5 sustainable choices can help you care for your health in easy ways. I think these are simple, practical habits that can help us glorify God in our bodies (1Corinthians 6:20) and honor him in everything, even eating and drinking (1Corinthians 10:31).
Lainey blogs at LaineyGreer.com; this article is reprinted with his permission.