What are four small health changes anyone can make?
When people think about making health changes, they often focus on big goals – like losing 50 pounds or running a marathon. While it may seem like bigger changes are the way to see major results, it’s really the smaller changes that have the most effect.
Small changes are easier to make in your daily routine. It takes 21 days to create a habit. Once a habit is formed, changes are easier to maintain. When you start consistently doing something, that’s when you’ll see results – and seeing results will motivate you to make even more small changes.
Here are four small changes you can make that will have a big impact on your health:
- Start and end the day with five minutes of meditation or deep breathing to de-stress.
- Move more throughout the day. For example, take a quick walk every hour, park further away, take the stairs when possible or start an active hobby, like dancing.
- Drink a glass of water before each meal for improved hydration. It can also help you feel fuller so you’re less likely to overindulge during your meals.
- Establish a sleep schedule and stick with it. Aim for 7-9 hours per night and go to bed and wake up at the same time, every day.
Depending on the types of changes you make, you could start seeing physical, mental and emotional benefits within one week. You might notice your body is becoming leaner or more toned or you might have more energy. You might also see clearer skin or improved self-esteem. Over time, you’ll notice even bigger health benefits, such as lower blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as a lower risk for health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and osteoporosis.
Edward-Elmhurst Health can help you make health changes, big or small. Their primary care providers want to play a role in helping you live healthier and happier. They can provide resources and connect you with other medical specialists who can assist you on your journey toward improved health.
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Dr. Douglas Tran is an internal medicine physician with Edward Medical Group. Dr. Tran earned his medical degree from Poznan Medical College in Poland. He completed his residency at Mercy Hospital & Medical Center in Chicago and has 16 years of experience in internal medicine. For more information and to schedule an appointment, call (630) 527-7780.
About Edward-Elmhurst Health
Edward Hospital and Linden Oaks Behavioral Health are part of NorthShore – Edward-Elmhurst Health, a fully integrated healthcare delivery system committed to providing access to quality, vibrant, community-connected care, serving an area of more than 4.2 million residents across six northeast Illinois counties. Our more than 25,000 team members and more than 6,000 physicians aim to deliver transformative patient experiences and expert care close to home across more than 300 ambulatory locations and eight acute care hospitals – Edward (Naperville), Elmhurst, Evanston, Glenbrook (Glenview), Highland Park, Northwest Community (Arlington Heights) Skokie and Swedish (Chicago) – all recognized as Magnet hospitals for nursing excellence. Located in Naperville, Linden Oaks Behavioral Health provides for the mental health needs of area residents. For more information, visit NorthShore.org and EEHealth.org.
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