It is the time of year when people start saying that they are going to diet, go to the gym, and finally make health a priority. Of course, as you know, being dedicated to taking good care of your health is about lasting habits that you stick with, not temporary spurts of activity or unreasonable demands on yourself for a level of self-control that you cannot maintain. If you want better health, the way to obtain it is to adopt habits that you can do every day. Avoid extreme commitments, and go for smaller, sustainable goals that your self-control can handle. Here, we will discuss 6 things you can do to improve your health.
An attainable goal is something you can do every day without depleting your self-control. In psychology, we learn that self-control is actually a finite resource that can be exhausted, leaving you with no resistance to temptation. The following tips are things most people can do while maintaining the self-control to make it through the day.
Do 1 Minute Of Daily Exercise
I know that it sounds like a ridiculously small amount of time. But if regular exercise seems to be beyond you, just commit to one minute a day. Simply run in place or do some sit-ups- but most importantly, do it every single day. In time, you’ll do it automatically, and you’ll start wanting to do more. Just one minute is enough to get your blood flowing, trigger endorphins, and make your whole day much nicer.
Make Temptation Wait 10 Minutes
You’re sitting in front of Netflix on your screen after a hard day at work. You are not hungry, but you get that nagging desire to eat just for entertainment. Or maybe you’re tempted to have a candy or a cigarette. If you can just wait 10 minutes, you’ll short circuit the temptation algorithm in your brain. Best of all, it’s not asking too much of your self-control reserves. It’s just enough to strengthen your self-control and get the edge on temptation.
Don’t Eat Before Bed
Eating right before going to bed is terrible for your gut health, your cardiovascular health, and your waistline. You should stop eating at least one hour before bed, ideally four hours. If you are too hungry, try eating a fruit or vegetable, something that’s at least healthy and that won’t trigger the strongest acids your gut can produce. When you sleep, and when you’re hungry, your body takes the opportunity to repair and purge itself of waste and toxins. You need to get into the habit of not getting in the way of these processes.
Amp Up Your Dental Hygiene
How are your oral health practices? Without proper dental care, mouth bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as gum disease or even tooth decay. Make sure you’re regularly checking in with your dentist and taking care of your teeth with daily brushing and flossing. Concerned about cost? There are plenty of dental savings plans that can help you maintain your oral health without breaking the bank.
Reign In Stress
Stress takes a major toll on your health. Do your best to manage stress with relaxation techniques. One of the easiest and healthiest ways to manage stress is to breathe through your nose and into your gut. Breathing just into the top of the chest actually triggers stress hormones and does not oxygenate the body as well as gut breathing. Adopt a breathing routine with an app like Calm and reap the benefits.
Get To Know Yourself
Pay attention to when and how you lose self-control. Get to know what’s realistic and what’s not a realistic expectation. Remember, you cannot be your own tyrant. You are not the architect of your own nature. You have to work with your own nature, not against it.
Make just one of these tips your new normal. Give it time to become ingrained in your life and habits and then consider adopting another one. Or try adopting one of these habits and then raising it to two minutes of daily exercise or making temptation wait 15 minutes instead of ten. Doing this will give your self-control the workout it needs. It will help you develop solid habits that you can maintain, and finally make your health a real priority.
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