How To: Take Small Steps to Improve Your Health

You may have gotten a wake-up warning when it comes to your health. Maybe your doctor discussed a possible smoking or drinking habit with you. You may have realized that you weigh more than you should and you want to start dropping the pounds. It’s possible that you’ve noticed some symptoms that scare you. At home, start taking just a few common sense steps and see if your health begins to get better.

Begin Exercising

As you start an exercise plan, make sure your doctor is okay with this – you may have a health condition that dictates how much exercise you get. Don’t go all-out in the first day or week. Instead, start slowly.

Go for a walk around the block. Every day, walk just a little bit more. As your body gets used to its new level of physical activity, begin walking faster so you increase your heart and breathing rate. Over time, you may want to begin jogging or even running.

Start doing some exercises at home – sit-ups, pushups and some light weight lifting. Again, start slowly so you don’t hurt yourself.

Drink More Water

Start drinking more water. Whether you drink municipal water or you buy water from a water store doesn’t matter. Just drink more water. Start slowly – If you drink only one glass of water a day, start by adding a second glass. After a few days, try to drink three glasses of water a day. You’ll notice that your body starts to want water rather than soda, energy drinks or all the coffee you may have been drinking before. As you increase your water intake, decrease your intake of other beverages.

If you don’t like the taste of water, add a wedge of lime or lemon to the glass. Squeeze the juice into the water.

Eat More Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Stop at the store and buy a few fresh fruits and veggies. Make some fresh salads during the week. Add hard-boiled eggs, croutons and a little grated cheese to your salads and enjoy. If you like avocado, slice or dice one up and add it to your salad – this is one of the healthiest fruits you can eat.

Make your own salad dressings from vinegar and oil or buy bottled, low-fat, low-sodium dressings. Pour them into a small dish and have the dressing “on the side.”

Add more fresh and frozen fruits to your diet – oranges, apples, pears, strawberries, grapes, bananas and even kiwi. Make a fruit salad and top it off with the liquid from some frozen berries. Delicious!

Focus on Lean Meats, Fish and Poultry

You can have red meats as long as the cuts are lean. Trim the excess fat off, but leave just a little so the meat has taste and some moisture from the fat.

Along with lean red meats, buy poultry and fish. Grill, broil and bake your meats and pair them with fresh salads or grilled veggies for delicious dinners.

Cut Back on Sweets

You should be finding that, as you add more and more healthy foods to your diet, you don’t have much room for sweets. It’s okay to have a sweet once in a while – say, once a week. Just don’t overindulge, because these add empty calories to your daily food intake.