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How small changes make a big difference to your health

by | Sep 19, 2018 | Get Active

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

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 require 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 to make small changes to lose weight and how to make small changes in your diet in order to eat healthier. For instance:

“Taking the stairs once in a while”

This simple form of 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 big results, as stair-climbing burns around 10 calories per minute. If a climb takes five minutes, and you make the climb twice a day, you can burn 100 calories and slide a 10-minute workout seamlessly into your day.

“Drinking 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, 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 could be a life-saver!

“Swapping fries for salad…sometimes”

Whether dining in or out, 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 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 to make small changes 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 about staying on top of their health.

Are you trying to get a handle on your health? If so, we’ve got your back!

Download the free “Men’s Maintenance Guide” ebook right now.

Adam Bisby
Adam Bisby

Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two. He’s been covering men’s health for over 20 years. As well as researching and blogging for Don’t Change Much since 2015, Adam’s award-winning work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and National Post newspapers.

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