Change: 1 Habit at a Time
Author: Shannon Miller
We’ve all heard the expression: “Old habits die hard.”
Yes, it’s easy to get used to our normal routine and sometimes it’s hard to break this routine. The truth is, even if it’s hard to break a particular habit, the end reward is sure to make the work well worth it! Challenge yourself this coming week to break a habit that you know you would be better off without. Check out some popular ones that you might be thinking about nixing…and if one of these is on your “nix list,” remember – you aren’t alone!
Butt out! We are all aware that smoking can cause several different kinds of cancer, namely lung cancer. This shouldn’t be surprising considering all the toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke, including (but not limited to) cyanide, formaldehyde, and ammonia. Long story short, even to the heaviest smoker, it’s obvious that this is a habit that should be kicked (and quick!). It is understandable, that because of how addictive nicotine is, quitting smoking is not easy. The good news is that it is achievable! Check out the SML article “When to Call it Quits” for some good quitting tips and don’t be shy about discussing your choice to quit with your healthcare provider. Remember, YOU (not your addiction) are in control!
Get up and get going! Our lives are nothing if not busy. Most of us are on the go from dawn until dusk, but how much time do we devote to physical activity, as opposed to just getting from one place to the next? Yes, sometimes it is hard to squeeze in exercise, but it’s well worth the effort! Physical activity can help you to control your blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight; raise your “good” cholesterol; prevent heart disease, colorectal cancer, type 2 diabetes. Challenge yourself to be physically active at least 30 minutes of exercise most days! One easy exercise is walking; check out this SML article “These Feet were Made for Walking“.
Drop the yo-yo! Yo-yo dieting that is. When people try to follow a diet that’s guidelines call for completely cutting out some ingredient (i.e. sugar, carbs, etc.), it’s easy to slip-up. When one diet fails you move on to the next. We’ve all been there. The truth is, this yo-yoing isn’t good for anyone. Diets like this make it hard for anyone to stick to it; telling ourselves that we can’t have something makes us want it that much more! Also, by eliminating certain foods or food groups we can miss out on important nutrition that our bodies need. The keys to any good diet are: moderation and balance. The goal is to create a lifestyle of healthy eating, not a diet that sets us up for failure. For more insight on dieting, check out SML’s article “Magical Weight Loss” and “I’m on a Diet…Pass the Chocolate Cake.”