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How Small Steps Can Make a Big Difference in Your Well-Being

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We all know we should eat right, exercise, and maintain a healthy weight, but sometimes it can all seem overwhelming. Take small steps every day, and they can turn into big ones — with big health benefits.

The fact is that 30% of our longevity is related to genes, and 70% to lifestyle. But don’t beat yourself up if you don’t reach your goals — just try again the next day. It’s worth it to live a healthier, happier, longer life.

Here are five first steps you can take to nurture your total well-being.

1. Get moving
Moving your body is one of the best things you can do for your physical, emotional and mental health. Studies show that taking 8,000 steps a day instead of 4,000 can even help you live longer.

Small steps:
Start with just a short five- to 10-minute walk and work up to a longer one. Make it fun by walking with a friend. Or sign up for a tai chi, yoga or aqua aerobics class to make your workout automatic. Working exercise into your day can also make boosting your fitness easier. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, or park on the edge of the lot and walk to the store.

2. Eat nutritious foods
Eating a variety of fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds, with lean meat and fish, has been shown to combat some of the nation’s top killers like heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Small steps:
A recipe for a better diet is small changes over time. Enjoy the foods you love by substituting healthy ingredients. Change the French fries to oven-baked fries. Sprinkle nuts on salads for extra protein. And gradually make meat and starches a smaller part of your plate and dominate it with veggies.

3. Train your brain
Stimulating your brain regularly can keep your memory and thinking sharp. One study found that brain exercise helped older adults maintain cognition speed for up to 10 years after the study ended.

Small steps:
Incorporate little things into your day that put your brain to work. Add a mini-crossword puzzle or other quick brain-stretching games into your routine. Pick up an instrument for a few minutes. Start a new hobby like knitting, or join a language class.

4. Get social.
Not only can socializing with friends make you happier and more relaxed, it can also lower your risk of dementia.

Small steps:
Schedule get-togethers with friends just a little more often than usual — or attend a fitness class together in our LivWell program, included in a Springpoint Choice membership.

5. See your doctor regularly.
By getting your regular exams and health screenings, you can uncover many issues that might otherwise get missed.

Small steps: When you leave your doctor, make an appointment for the next visit so it’s on your calendar, and ask for a reminder.

Another first step you can take to foster your well-being is to learn more about Springpoint Choice. Membership includes your own personal care navigator to help you stay healthy and independent, access to aquatic and fitness facilities and much more. Contact our team today to learn the details.

Portrait Of Seniors on a Nature Walk