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Feb 24, 2013

Healthy Tid-Bits – Part 1

As a new year begins, you may feel inspired to live a healthier lifestyle. Lasting change does not happen overnight, however. By embracing small and manageable habits, you can stick to your goals and become healthier over the course of 2013.

1. Eat a Powerful Breakfast

Starting your morning with a healthy and delicious breakfast will help you power through your day. Choose foods that will satisfy you and give you a solid boost of energy, such as oatmeal or fruit. For best results, avoid sugary cereals that only give you a temporary energy boost, resulting in a “crash” midway into your morning routines.

2. Cook Your Own Food

Learning how to cook your own food gives you a chance to improve a skill and customize your own meals. If you're trying to lose weight, you can learn how to make your favorite recipes with low-calorie substitutions while teaching yourself portion control. You can also learn how to cook more than just your evening meals. Use your own kitchen to create lunches for work and snacks for your family.  This will not only save money, but allow you to know that what your family is eating is delicious and good for them.

3. Get More Sleep

If you don't get enough sleep every night, you'll feel exhausted and unable to properly attend to your daily tasks. Try to stick to a routine bedtime each night, even on the weekends. This will help your body establish a regular sleeping pattern. If you want to sleep well each night, limit your physical activities late at night as well as any kind of caffeinated beverages. Try to exercise earlier in the day instead of right before bedtime to better establish a healthy sleep pattern.

4. Make Exercise Fun

For many people wishing to lose weight, January is the perfect time to set a new goal to exercise more. Although exercise is a fantastic way to lose weight, you won't keep up the habit if you don't enjoy the activity. Explore some new options to find a workout that will burn calories and help you have fun at the same time. For example, you could try out a new dance class at a community center or take up indoor rock climbing. As you start to enjoy certain activities, make time for them in your routine and always look to expand your range of workouts.

5. Control Your Stress

If you never take a break during your busy days, you'll feel stressed and overworked. Too much stress can make you feel depressed or exhausted as well as adding unneeded weight to your body. Fortunately, you can reduce the effects of stress with a little effort. Always schedule some time in your day to do your own favorite activities, such as reading or playing the piano. Even if you can only spare a few minutes, this break will boost your mood.

Try to work in these five healthy habits over the next few months to see a difference in your overall health, happiness and longevity.  Continue to check back for other monthly healthy tid-bits from the Institute of Technology.