dave-mittlemanDoes it ever seem like too much of a hassle to improve your health? Sure, going to the gym or drastically improving your diet might help, but they are hardly ever easy or fun changes. However, according to experts, you don’t need to make huge changes to reap significant health payoffs. Read ahead for some easy, yet effective, steps you can take to improve your health:

  1. Floss more often: flossing is one of the easiest, quickest ways to remove bad bacteria from your body. More importantly, flossing removes plaque from the teeth, which can eat away at the bone that holds the teeth in place. Furthermore, oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream and studies have shown that those harmful bugs can contribute to diabetes, hypertension, or even premature birth.
  2. Eat every two to three hours during the day: if you think you’re doing a really good job on your “diet” by not eating during the day, think again. You’re most likely just making your metabolism go crazy and possibly setting yourself up to eat more later on in the day.
  3. Make your coffee at home: if going to the local coffee shop is part of your morning routine, you’re spending more money than you need to and adding more calories to your diet as well. When you brew your coffee at home, you avoid the temptation of those coffee shop doughnuts or cakes while waiting in line to order your fancy (equally calorie-laden) coffee drink.
  4. Wear a pedometer: keeping track of how much you walk each day challenges you to go just a little bit further than you normally would. Specifically, becoming aware of how much you move is a motivation for most people to move even more.
  5. Do Kegels exercises: as women age, their pelvic floor muscles can become weakened, particularly after the stress and strain of having children.
    To reduce the risk of incontinence, Kegels exercises can help to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. While it might sound funny, incontinence certainly isn’t when you’re in an embarrassing public situation.
  6. Sleep in your exercise clothes: if you always intend on waking up in the morning before work and squeezing in an hour at the gym but never manage to actually do it, motivation may be your problem. Putting on your t-shirt and shorts and setting out a sports bra and sneakers or other workout gear will help you be one step ahead of the game (and one excuse less).
  7. Give yourself a compliment: the key to feeling happy is to be proud and confident about your body, flaws and all. Finding the things that you like about your body and making a point out of mentally complimenting yourself will motivate you to take care of your body even more. It’s like getting a ball rolling, and the positive energy will continue to build on itself.
  8. Get your vitamin D levels checked: many women have low levels of vitamin D, an issue correlated with everything from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease. The fix is simple and just involves taking a supplement for several months. So next time you’re at your doctor’s office, request a blood test.
  9. Switch from instant to steel-cut oats: if you eat oatmeal in the morning, pat yourself on the back. Oatmeal fills you up for longer than most other breakfasts. However, if you want to boost the health factor of this breakfast even more, consider switching to steel cut oats, which have more fiber and will keep you fuller longer.
  10. Turn some classical music on at dinner: since we tend to chew at the pace of music we’re listening to, turn on some slow classical music to help you slow down and enjoy your food.