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19 Tiny Lifestyle Changes That Make You Healthier


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Dina Spector summarizes a Reddit thread on small healthy lifestyle changes:

Reddit-user recently asked: What is one small lifestyle change you can do to be healthier?

The suggestions came pouring in. We've selected our favorite small lifestyle tweaks, which over time, should lead to larger personal changes. 

1. Learn to drink your coffee black.

Coffee is good for you (in moderation). Eliminating milk, cream, sugar, or flavorings will cut calories and maximize coffee's health benefits.

2. Stand on one leg while brushing your teeth. 

This is an easy multi-tasking activity that can improve your balance

3. Spread avocado on your toast instead of butter. 

Avocados are a good source of healthy fats. The fleshy green fruit is a mainstay on the "superfood" list

4. Meditate for just 20 minutes a day.  

At least a dozen executives swear by the relaxing technique.

5. Eat fruit instead of candy.  

Candy is sweet because it contains processed sugar, usually high fructose corn syrup. Fruit is sweet because it contains natural sugar, while it's also rich in fiber and vitamins. 

6. Learn how to cook.

You will eat healthier, save money on dining out, and boost your self-esteem armed with a new skill. 

7. Park farther away from your destination. 

This is an easy way to squeeze more physical activity into your daily routine. 

8. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. 

This will burn calories and tone leg muscles.

9. Shop on a full stomach.

Studies show that people who snack before a grocery trip buy fewer unhealthy foods

10. Drink more water.

The benefits of staying hydrated are endless — healthier hair, skin, and more energy. Some fitness experts claim you can lose weight if you drink water before every meal

11. Turn off your phone from time to time.

Occasionally unplugging can help stressed individuals achieve a state of complete relaxation

12. Read a book.

Expand your knowledge, reduce stress, and briefly cut ties with the Internet. 

13. Walk faster. 

Power walking will help blast fat — and get you to your destination sooner. 

14. Eat whole wheat bread instead of white bread.

Whole wheat bread is higher in fiber than regular white bread. Fiber helps with digestion.

15. Moisturize daily. 

A good moisturizing regimen prevents dry, flaky skin.  

16. Stretch every day.  

Studies have shown that, in addition to enhancing flexibility, stretching makes you stronger and increases endurance

17. Regularly wash your hands with soap and water and dry properly.

This simple step gets rids of germs and drying off prevents the spread of bacteria.  

18. If you are a regular public transport user, get on the bus one stop later than usual, and get off off one stop earlier than usual.

Walking burns calories, reduces anxiety, and strengthens bones

19. Wear sunscreen. 

You don't want skin cancer. And you don't want to look like this

Many of these tips are not specific instructions, just learning how to get into the flow of thinking about moderation, destressing, and healthy habits. Good to think about in general. 

It's sad that these even need to be shared. Aren't they mostly common sense and good habits?

On the other hand, it's cool that little changes can make a big difference!

They are...but we really are out of balance in general. Any little change toward good can make a difference. 

Yes! I feel like our education does NOT teach us these fundamentals.

And also there's many more not on that list.

Example: FLOSS.

I hate flossing but just like sunscreen it is SO important!

if you form the habit, no thought required...sadly my habits are not always healthy

Every day is a good day to establish a good habit.

I agree -- take thinking out of the equation. More "life automation".

So instead of "should I floss?" it's "floss every time".

or floss every night before bed

Never understood how flossing got such a bad reputation. I've read entire blog posts about people hating to floss. I have never considered it either way--no more than showering, brushing teeth...hmmm. There must be some deep psychology here... Eric Barker? Anyone... Bueller?

more annoying than brushing?

How can either one be labeled annoying? They just "are." Maybe this is a guy thing?

Flossing definitely is more time consuming and more likely to pull out gross things.

Also floss feels harder on the gums than brushing.

and toothpaste tastes better

And how much time should we really be spending on our teeth anyway?

Wow, this is particularly enlightening:) Dental experts suggest a couple minutes of brushing--I could google the exact time...I have to admit, I like floss. I hate looking at people who need to when the teeth meld into one solid tooth of plaque, delineation erased by the wall of "you need to take care of this" junk. I have explained about dental hygiene to students:) 

Do students understand? Seems like so few people understand!

It's a tough convo to have, like BO... "Excuse me, but you have terrible hygiene?" Not so easy to say. I can say "need floss?" 

I gotta remember that. "Need floss?"

I wish we could convince teens intent on starting smoking that it would be cooler to start flossing instead.

Interesting...tons of people starting smoking, and not just teens--a lot of the startup people and computer people...is it because there isn't enough red bull or coffee? I'm shocked by the amount of people I meet who are smokers lately. 

there will be a cure for that later?

Here's my reply: http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2012/05/what-10-things-should-you-do-every-day-to-imp/

Sorry, I didn't include flossing. :)

Ok, now I'm wondering why you didn't include flossing.

I am worried about #9. touch someone.  =p

I gotta find a "touch buddy".  :)

Yes. Yes you do!

@Eric... you did miss flossing. But I think that resetting the mindset is more challenging than flossing:)

Reset the mindset AND floss. 

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