You don’t have to make drastic changes to improve your health. Start small, and once you’ve built a habit, add another step.
Eat more fruits and
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends two cups of fruit and two and a half cups of vegetables daily, though most people fall far short.
Good: Add a fruit or vegetable serving every day.
Better: Have a fruit with breakfast and two vegetable servings with both lunch and dinner.
Best: Add fruits and vegetables as snacks until you get to four fruit and five veggie servings daily.
Watch for trouble spots.
Many diseases and conditions are most treatable if they’re caught early.
Good: See your doctor yearly for a physical.
Better: Perform monthly breast or testicular and skin checks to watch for problems.
Best: Make sure your doctor knows your family history, so he or she can recommend the appropriate tests. Review your test results with your doctor and take steps to address any areas of concern.
With 30 percent of Americans getting little or no regular exercise, many of us could use some help getting going.
Good: Start with some basic strength training 20 minutes twice a week, focusing on your trunk muscles.
Better: Add slow, sustained stretching for 15 or 20 minutes twice a week.
Best: Work in aerobic exercise until you are up to 150 minutes of exercise weekly.
Take a rest.
Most people need eight hours of sleep a night. If you’re having trouble waking up or are tired during the day, you might need more sleep.
Good: Back up your bedtime 15 minutes and see how you feel.
Better: Keep the same sleep schedule on weekends and weekdays.
Best: Sleep enough so you don’t need an alarm clock to wake you.