5 simple habits to support your well-being this year

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While everyone wants to improve their daily habits, starting new routines can be challenging. Often when you consider revamping your lifestyle, you come up with ambitious goals that are hard to keep up over time. Instead, why not make smaller lifestyle changes, smaller steps that you know you can stick to?

Rather than overhauling your entire routine, first identify one or two simple changes you can do. Then, who knows? You may just pick up one or two more. Remember: Even small changes can make a difference to your overall well-being.

Here are some simple steps to choose from.

1. Pick up the pace

Boost your health by moving your feet. If you don’t normally exercise, start with a simple walk around the block at the same time every day. Weather not cooperating? March in place to music for a few minutes at a time, a few times a day. If you already exercise regularly, see if you can step it up. Add another block to your walk, pick up your pace, or add hand weights two or three times a week.

The CDC recommends walking as an easy and effective way to exercise, and their guidelines advise working up to at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week.

Check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program, especially if you have been inactive.

2. Catch up on your check-ups

If it’s been awhile since your last wellness exam, now’s a good time to make that appointment. Be proactive — even if you feel fine right now, your health care provider can offer advice and recommendations on nutrition and exercise. They can also let you know if you are caught up on health screenings and immunizations you may need to maintain your health.

3. Make simple swaps in the kitchen

Boosting the nutritional content of your food doesn’t require a complete diet overhaul. Add one or two vegetables, fruits or whole grains every day to boost your intake of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Explore new foods to find options offering health benefits that also taste great — so you’re more likely to keep eating them.

For example, Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Toasted Oats and Honey is not only a delicious way to start the morning, but it also helps you get your fiber fix. Fiber is crucial to support digestive health, which is an important part of overall wellness. National consumption surveys indicate that only about 5% of the U.S. population meets fiber consumption recommendations, according to the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine’s 2016 Closing America’s Fiber Intake Gap.

Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Toasted Oats and Honey features the Kellogg’s Raisin Bran ingredients you already know and love — hearty bran flakes and juicy raisins — now paired with crisp, whole-grain toasted oats and a touch of real honey. With whole-grain oats in each spoonful, every serving is a good source of fiber, without sacrificing taste.

4. Learn how much water your body needs

According to WebMD, the commonly touted 8 glasses of water everyone should drink should be taken as just a minimal guideline. Many people actually need more, especially for those who are exercising, in hot weather or who are pregnant or breastfeeding. It's best to talk to your healthcare provider about your particular needs, as people with some health conditions may need to limit their water intake.

5. Get your zz's

Chronic sleep deprivation can increase your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease, among other health concerns, according to The Mayo Clinic. As a part of your healthier lifestyle program, take a look at your sleep habits and see if you're getting enough shuteye.

If you're not getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night, try turning off the gadgets earlier each night to get to bed earlier, or streamline your routine to allow a few more minutes of rest each morning.

Set yourself up for success by starting small first. Even tackling just a couple of these habits can improve how you feel each day. And once they've become habit, see if you can add even more!

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