It isn't breaking news that exercise and a healthy diet can help improve your overall health and fitness. But attention from employers, media, policy makers and society in general doesn't make it any easier for most of us to swap candy for kale. Your best bet for building new health habits is to start with small steps and build on them over time.
Don't want to run on a treadmill for 30 minutes a day? Take the stairs to get where you need to go or park the car at the back of the lot. Find more manageable tips in How to Improve Your Health Behavior: Small Steps to Change, including online resources to help you get started, such as:
- Activity and menu planners from Healthfinder.gov, created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- The Center for Disease Control and Prevention's resources and tools on maintaining a healthy weight including weight assessment, nutrition and physical activity.
Living a healthier lifestyle overall isn't just about food and exercise, though. If you're looking for ways to improve other health behaviors – quitting smoking, getting more sleep, reducing stress – this collection of resources is a great place to start.
Local chapters of the YMCA, Weight Watchers, and community health organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association provide help with reducing disease risks and improving your health. Faith-based organizations can also be sources of support for healthy choices, as can your doctor, trusted friends or online communities.
Find these resources and more in Steps to Living a Healthy Lifestyle.
What are some small steps that have worked for you?