Start with Small Habits
Just last month we heard Dr. Sears talk about the negative impact of sedentary behavior and nutrition in the presentation ‘Simple Lifestyle Changes for Improving Women’s Health’; where research on diet and sedentary behaviors opened our eyes to important risk factors in cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.
With obesity being characterized now as a national epidemic, it is becoming imperative that we do revise our lifestyle and most importantly, change it. As to whether it is simple or not, that depends on the lens under which you are seeing the issue. Whenever someone prefaces any sentence with ‘simple’ there is an expectation of effortless actions. Many times our lives will depend on those changes to maintain our health, but ‘simple’?
The idea is to create a series of healthy lifestyle ‘small habits’ to improve and sustain our health, as difficult as it might sound! The National Institute of Diabetes and Kidney Diseases created the Weight Control Information Network (WIN) that has a guide on just how to go about making such lifestyle changes — I say lifestyle makeover!
It presents a diagram on the stages of change; starting with the ‘thinking about’ the need of a lifestyle change, on to the implementation phase and up to finally having a new routine. Like with pretty much everything in life, the pro’s an con’s are clear; especially after listening to Dr. Sears’ talk about the benefits of a lifestyle change. This guide aids in the factors that will make your decisions easier and definitely eliminate the excuses for not having a healthy lifestyle. Understanding the natural objections to change is just part of the equation. Tracking your progress through the establishment of clear, concise goals is definitely a motivator in bettering your health!
In the mean time, here are the 4 tips you can start implementing today to get motivated!
1. “A body in motion stays in motion.” Not my coined phrase but one that I adopted since seeing the commercial on TV. Create your own mantra and make yourself follow it when thinking about exercise. Take the stairs. Park the car yet a little bit farther. Walk around the block after dinner.
2. Eat healthy. Avoid the snack aisle at the grocery, and for crying out loud, do not go there hungry. Nuts go a long way.
3. Make your new habits small and achievable. The less effort, the quicker the habit becomes. Mine? “clean as you go”!
4. Create a chain of habits. Insert new, small changes in your daily routine. Already took the dog for around the block? Try 2 blocks next time. Don’t eat much fruit? Pair your nuts with a pear.
About the Doris A. Howell Foundation:
The Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women’s Health Research is committed to keeping the women we love healthy, advancing women’s health through research and educating women to be catalysts for improving family health in the community.
The organization does so by funding scholarships to scientists researching issues affecting women’s health; providing a forum for medical experts, scientists, doctors, researchers, and authors to convey the timely information on topics relevant to women’s health and the health. of their families through its Lecture and Evening Series, and by funding research initiatives that will create women’s health awareness and advocacy in the community.