Better Health Through Changing Habits

Much of what we do is already an automated process. Research from Duke University finds that 40 percent of our day is guided by habits, not conscious decisions. This includes hygiene, eating, morning and bedtime rituals, work patterns and break patterns, mindless commuting, video viewing, electronic communication, etc.
These habitual behaviors provide an excellent opportunity to make gradual improvements in our well-being by replacing less healthy habits with better ones! The idea is not to make too many changes at once, but to change one or two things each week. Over several weeks or even months, great overall improvements in our well-being will result!
Here are some suggestions, but remember to take it slow. It may take a few weeks for a new habit to take hold.
• Plan healthy meals ahead of time, so you will be less likely to eat poor choices when hunger strikes.
• If you watch TV, swap your chair or couch for an exercise bike.
• At work, take a stretch break every half hour. (You will work more efficiently!)
• Walk for 20 minutes after dinner, rather than just sitting.
• Replace your afternoon beverage with a glass of green tea.
• Replace mayonnaise with hummus, tahini, mashed avocado, or olive tapenade.
• Replace bedtime TV with spiritual and scriptural reading.
• Eat vegetables with humus instead of chips and salsa.
• Eat and savor 3 bites of dessert instead of eating all of it, or split it with a friend.
• If you don’t eat enough vegetables, add one vegetable to one meal daily. (Snow peas and sugar snap peas are personal favorites).
• Every time you hear yourself complain, think of something for which you are grateful.
If you aren’t completely happy with your current state of health, don’t underestimate the potency of changing a few habits!

About the Author

Dr. Teitelbaum practices Osteopathic manipulation, prolotherapy, spinal decompression, acupuncture, and Chinese herbal medicine in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. For over 25 years, he has provided conservative, natural treatment for sports injuries, back pain, neck pain, headaches, posture problems, overuse injuries, and joint pain. Commonly treated conditions include muscle, tendon and ligament damage of the neck, low back, tailbone, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, hip, knee, ankle and foot.