Grand Rapids, Mich. (WOTV) - When setting health goals, it is important to keep in mind that these changes don’t happen overnight. Rather, becoming healthier is a lifestyle change that needs to be maintained.
Sometimes small habits are the best place to begin when starting the journey toward living a healthier lifestyle. Building on small habits throughout the year can help you not only reach your health and wellness goals, but sustain them as well. Get started on your health goals by checking out the health tips below that can be implemented on a daily basis.
1. Change your sleeping habits.
Poor sleeping posture and jaw clenching can decrease quality of sleep and lead to headaches and soreness throughout the day. Try sleeping with a neutral spine to avoid putting pressure on your nerves. This can be done by placing pillows under your knees if you sleep on your back, or between your legs if you sleep on your side. For more tips on how to get a good night’s sleep, check out our “Sleep… Beyond Counting Sheep” blog.
2. Wake up your muscles.
Stretching before getting out of bed helps increase blood flow and prepares muscles for activity. Try waking up with a lower trunk rotation stretch. Lay on your back with your knees bent together, and your feet flat. Then slowly rock your knees back and forth to loosen up your muscles for the day ahead. Learn how to perform additional stretches to loosen up your muscles by checking out our weekly “Stretch of the Week” archive.
3. Practice good posture.
It is not uncommon to spend hours slouching in a desk chair or slumped forward looking down at a smartphone during the day. This can lead to poor posture as well as pain in the shoulders, back and neck. Fortunately there are exercises that can help counteract that pain, including the shoulder blade squeeze. For this exercise, pinch your shoulder blades back behind you, as if you are trying to touch your elbows. Once you are back as far as you can go, hold this position for 5 seconds before relaxing. Repeat this 10-15 times. Read “4 Stretches to Help Your Teen Combat Text Neck” for instructions on how to perform three additional exercises.
4. Keep moving.
Help counteract the negative side effects from a sedentary lifestyle by taking a short break every 30 minutes. Try keeping a small cup of water at your desk and get up to refill it often. This will help you stay hydrated while also helping you get more steps in throughout the day. For more tips on how to be more active throughout the day, check out “Stop Sitting, Start Moving! Tips to Kick the Office Chair to the Curb.”
5. Take Full Breaths.
Stay mindful of breathing throughout the day. Instead of short, shallow breaths, breathe through your belly to see your abdomen rise and fall. This increases the amount of oxygen you receive during the day, which can help boost energy while also reducing stress.
When implemented, these small tips can help you gain big health benefits throughout 2018. Should an injury occur during your journey to living a healthier life, request an appointment here at a clinic near you.