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Jumpstart a healthy lifestyle

Laura Williams, M.S.Ed. is a personal trainer, freelance writer and entrepreneur who works with a wide variety of fitness clients. She's the founder of the popular website, - Girls Gone Sporty, and she's the host of the High Impact Blogg...

Make healthy choices today!

Starting a healthy lifestyle can sometimes feel overwhelming, but there’s no need to bite off more than you can chew. Small steps and simple changes can help you get off to a healthier start.

Woman flossing teeth

1Start your day sunnyside up

You've probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but what you eat for breakfast may be just as important as the eating itself. A 2010 study published in Nutrition Research found that individuals who ate eggs for breakfast consumed significantly fewer calories throughout the day than individuals who ate a bagel for breakfast. Researchers indicate that the high-quality protein in eggs helps promote long-lasting fullness.

2

Ditch the soda

Neither regular nor diet soda gets marks for being healthy. Regular sodas are loaded with sugar, while the diet versions are loaded with artificial sweeteners linked to weight gain and other health problems. You can get a healthier caffeine fix by switching out your soda for green, black or oolong tea.

3Take five

Every hour, on the hour, take five minutes to walk around the house or office. Studies have shown that small bouts of physical activity can really add up when it comes to your health, and just 10, five-minute walks adds up to 50 minutes worth of physical activity.

4Stay out of bed

Unless you're sleeping or enjoying a little lovin', your bed should be off-limits during the day. Your brain needs to associate your bed with sleeping so that when you're ready to hit the hay, your brain is ready to shut off for the night. If you regularly work or watch TV while lounging in bed, your brain will have a harder time making the switch from daytime activities to nighttime activities.

5Floss

Yeah, yeah, yeah, you already know that you're supposed to floss your teeth every day – but do you? You may think it's not that big of a deal if you don't have any cavities, but oral health and heart health are actually linked. According to the Mayo Clinic, bacteria on your teeth and gums could travel to your arteries and cause inflammation, leading to potential heart disease. Proper oral hygiene can help prevent this from occurring.

6Get some sun

Slather on some sun block and head outdoors. Not only does sunlight boost the production of circulating vitamin D, it can improve your mood by enhancing levels of serotonin in your brain. According to a paper by Dr Stephen Genuis published in the Canadian Family Physician, "Since sufficient levels of serotonin facilitate well-being, sunshine might well be considered nature's oldest remedy for adverse moods. If people feel better, they will naturally be more active, sleep better and have more positive outlooks."

More health tips

3 Hints for staying hydrated in the heat
Are natural sweeteners a better choice?
Tea 101: Types of tea & their health benefits

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