Tiny Steps to Better Health

Has this brutally hot summer sapped your energy and motivation?  You can still work on getting healthier by making tiny changes that require almost no self discipline 😀

Before you begin, make sure you have the right tools. (Nothing fancy!)

1. Sturdy shoes to wear indoors

2. Dental floss

3. A water glass.

It takes fewer than five minutes and no pain to do the following:

Take a 2-3 Minute Walk After a Meal

Any exercise, even for a handful of minutes, is better than no exercise at all. In a study published in the journal Sports Medicine last year, researchers found that taking a walk after a meal – even for as little as two or three minutes – can improve blood sugar levels. The best time to walk is before blood sugar peaks, typically 60 to 90 minutes after eating.

If you intend to walk around the inside of your house (I’ve started doing this)  prescreen your route, removing Legos, dog toys and other tripping hazards.  Wearing sturdy shoes will help minimize the chance of getting a foot injury.

Floss Your Teeth Every. Single.  Day.

Dental hygienists nag patients about this, and with good reason: Studies have shown that only 30% of Americans floss daily. Flossing can help prevent cavities, but more importantly, it’s a first line defense against gum disease (inflammation.) Gum disease can cause blood sugar spikes and is also linked to heart disease, diabetes and gastrointestinal disorders.

There are many types of floss available. The American Dental Association recommended brands include: Tom’s of Maine, Oral B Glide Pro Health, REACH, CVS Waxed Mint Dental Floss and Quip Refillable Floss String.

Step Up Your Water Intake

Dehydration is common in very hot weather, such as this record-breaking season. According to the Centers for Disease Control, if a person is dehydrated, their blood sugar will be more concentrated and therefore higher. Older adults are particularly vulnerable to dehydration because they don’t detect thirst as easily as a younger person.

Being dehydrated can also pose as hunger. “Drink water first, always drink water first,” a dietitian once told me.  To detect whether you are genuinely hungry,  drink a glass of water and wait a few minutes.  If hunger pains go away, you have the answer, and fewer calories.

The CDC recommends that women drink 91 ounces a day and men, 125 ounces.

Spend a few minutes walking, flossing and drinking water!


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