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Take Small Steps to Healthy Habits

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Women in park walking
We know that the idea of becoming healthier can seem overwhelming and unattainable. At Family Integrative Medicine, we are here to help you get back on track to the life you want, and that includes accomplishing your goals. A new year is when most of us set those resolutions to get healthy by exercising, eating well, and taking better care of our bodies. With any goal, taking your time to build upon where you want to be is a good approach. And that goes for developing new healthy habits too! You may think taking it slow and easy will not make a difference, but remember – it was the tortoise, not the hare, that won the race. You can successfully achieve your health goals by implementing positive and specific small steps.

Drink More Water with One Glass in the Morning

Starting with a goal of drinking eight cups of water daily can be challenging when you’re busy. Instead, begin with a goal of drinking a glass of water when you are most dehydrated: when you first wake up. In the morning, a glass of water, or herbal tea, is a great way to start your day. It can give you needed energy, help regulate your blood pressure, and give every part of your body what it needs – water. To make it easy, leave water next to your bed the night before, so it is one of the first things you see when you wake up. Once you’ve started this healthy habit, look into daily alerts or apps that help remind you to hydrate during the day or reusable bottles with hourly water intake goals. And if you’re wondering how much water you should drink a day, a good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces.

Exercise More by Walking for 10 Minutes

We know that physical activity can help keep our bodies healthy and productive. But you do not have to start with 30 minutes of cardio on January 2 to see improvement. You can take your time at a pace you are comfortable with. Every physical movement your body makes builds up your strength and stamina. And with just two hours of exercise per week, you are already improving:
  • Cardiovascular endurance
  • Muscular, bone, and joint health
  • Blood pressure
  • Weight
  • Overall mood and reducing stress
Once you have committed to your 10-minute walking routine, add more time and distance when you feel ready. Try working on other physical activities, such as short weekend bike rides or lifting small arm weights. Doing just 10 minutes of physical activity daily is better than zero minutes for the rest of the year.

Eat Better by Swapping Out One Meal

We understand that it can be hard to cook a healthy meal after a busy, hectic day when you want to relax and decompress. Rather than committing to making every meal healthy and nutritious, commit to swapping out one meal a week. For instance, if you typically order takeout every Wednesday for dinner, plan to eat a healthy, home-cooked meal instead. When you make a fresh meal at home, you have control over the ingredients, quantity, and calorie intake. And if you are short on time, think of ways to help your future self, such as chopping vegetables before work or weekend meal prep. By making minor tweaks to your eating habits, you can work towards a more healthy and nutritious diet that will improve your overall health, boost your energy, maintain a healthy weight, and get better sleep.

Get More Sleep with a Consistent Bedtime

Quality sleep Is critical for your well-being and is just as important as exercise and nutrition. However, going to bed thinking, “I have to fall right to sleep to get seven hours,” can add stress and anxiety, leading to insomnia and sleep deprivation. As an alternative, commit to creating a healthy sleep routine – starting with going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Yes, even on the weekends. By developing a routine, your body will know when it is time to sleep, making it easy to fall, and when to wake up, giving you the energy boost you need to start your day.
  • To help you fall asleep easier, here are a few tips:
  • Make your bedroom as dark as possible
  • Stop caffeine intake a few hours before bed
  • Unplug from your phone and other electronics at least an hour before bed
  • If you must use electronics, like an e-reader, turn on the amber light and turn off the blue light, which can disrupt melatonin production
High-quality sleep can aid your body to fight off infections, help your heart stay healthy, and give your brain the time to reset and restore your nerve network, allowing you to function at your full potential during waking hours.

What Role Does the Heart Play in Maintaining Good Health?

Maintaining good health is closely linked to heart health importance. As the center of our circulatory system, the heart pumps oxygenated blood to every part of our body, ensuring proper functioning of organs and tissues. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and avoiding smoking are essential for a healthy heart and overall well-being. Prioritizing heart health through regular check-ups and healthy lifestyle choices is crucial for a long and active life.

Focus on Wellness with Family Integrative Medicine

Another way to maintain healthy habits is to see a doctor for wellness screenings and routine care, even if you feel fine. At Family Integrative Medicine, we have a fantastic medical team available to provide you with a holistic examination to determine the best treatment for you to improve your quality of life. It all starts with an appointment at one of our gracious medical clinics. We serve patients from four convenient office locations in Orlando and the surrounding Central Florida region. You can count on our staff to take the time to get to know you, listen to and answer your questions, and thoroughly identify solutions that promote whole-body health. Schedule your consultation today!

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