I put a dollar in a change machine. Nothing changed!”

– George Carlin

This famous quote from comedian George Carlin pokes fun at something we all want: effortless change in our life. After all, wouldn’t it be great if we could simply drop a loonie in a slot to instantly become richer, healthier, fitter, better at golf……you get the idea.

Fact is, change requires effort. Because small changes can produce big results, it doesn’t necessarily need as much effort as you might think.

Take the plaid-shirted hero in the video above. His plans to “take a new approach” hint at how you can make small changes in your daily routine and your diet to be healthier. For instance:

Take the stairs once in a while

This simple exercise strengthens the biggest muscles in your legs and doesn’t require any fancy equipment or a gym membership. Instead of taking the elevator or escalator, try the “Three Flights” rule: if it’s three flights of stairs or less, take them. For guys, these small changes can lead to a big difference since stair-climbing burns around 10 calories per minute. If a climb takes five minutes and you do the climb twice a day, you can burn 100 calories and slide a 10-minute workout seamlessly into your day.

Drink more water

Our bodies are 60 percent water, so it’s a no-brainer that staying hydrated is important for your health. Not only does water help with your energy, but it also helps your body maintain normal functions like blood circulation, food digestion, and joint lubrication. All you have to do is drink five tall glasses of H2O throughout the day. Start when you first get up and finish with a final glass a few hours before bed. Staying hydrated also reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and even type 2 diabetes among adults. That’s right: a small change like this one can be a life-saver!

Swap fries for salad…sometimes

Whether dining in or out (like in the good ol’ days), it’s easy to swap the usual fatty french fries for a fresh, crunchy salad. A side of fries contains about 300 calories and 20 grams of fat, while a side of chef salad with vinaigrette dressing has a third the calories, nearly a tenth the fat, and is packed with vitamins and fibre. Do this swap every time, and you’ll be surprised how quickly you lose weight.

Like the guy in the video says, “a few small steps like that will make me feel better now, and down the road.” He sure seems to know how small changes can make a big difference for a healthy lifestyle. Now he just needs to learn to close the bathroom door!

While you’re sitting on the john, why not download the Men’s Maintenance Guide? It’s free, and it’s packed with things guys need to know, like how often to get a prostate exam and when to get your blood pressure checked.

What small changes have you made in your life that has made a big difference? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below.

This article was originally published on September 19, 2018.

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