When it comes to your health, forget go big or go home

When it comes to your health, forget go big or go home

When a new year rolls around, many of us start thinking fresh. How can we make a change? What new, healthy habit do we want to try to adopt? Even during a pandemic, if you search “goals in 2022” you’ll find countless articles on how to set and achieve your goals this year.

Which is great. After all, goals are important. Except that right now, many of us have been dealing with a certain amount of anxiety and stress for a long time. And if you’re like me, your energy is probably limited.

However, according to this article from Best Health, there are ways you can still achieve your goals this year, improve your health and keep moving without the burden of taking on a huge task or revamping your life.

And they’re called micro habits.

What, exactly, are micro habits?

The article states that micro health habits include “anything from engaging in 60 seconds of exercise to taking a few minutes to unplug for your mental health” and they’re gaining traction. “Science is proving what feels like common sense: adding in healthy habits where you can, even if miniscule, is better than nothing.”

As Dominique Lamberton writes, when we focus on making small, meaningful changes, they’re much more sustainable. The trick is to think simple. And even if they’re miniscule, you can count on them to have a positive impact. 

I admit that when I read that crossing the room while doing lunges was enough to count as “exercise,” I was a little skeptical at first. After all, I’ve heard many messages over the years: aim for 10,000 steps a day, get at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity a day, balance cardio with strength training. It’s hard to know what to focus on because it sounds like in order to do it right, you need to make a fairly big commitment.

Yet, when researchers studied sedentary young adults who vigorously climbed three flights of stairs, three times a week for six weeks, they saw a measurable improvement in their fitness.

As Martin Gibala, a kinesiology professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., says, “We don’t need to be fancy to keep fit.”

I love that sentiment, because knowing that these exercise “snacks” only require a short amount of time and little-to-no planning or scheduling means that I can still see impact without making it harder on me. And just knowing that a single 20-second exercise snack, once a day, a couple of times a week, is going to be beneficial is huge on my outlook. It takes away the pressure, and encourages and inspires me to do something–anything. Even if it’s not “fancy.”

After all, as the article states, “the most powerful thing you can do for your health is to start focusing on being less sedentary.”

I can do that. 

Some micro health habits you can try:

  • Set an alarm to remind yourself to do lunges across the room once a day
  • Every time you go into the kitchen, take a sip of water (Not a chug… just a sip!)
  • Find a time during your day that works for you and take a five-minute walk to breathe in some fresh air and feel sun on your face
  • Go to bed 15 minutes earlier than you usually do

Have you got some micro habits that you’re already practicing or would like to try? Share with us in the comments!


Read more about small habits:

2 responses to “When it comes to your health, forget go big or go home

  1. I use an electric toothbrush that runs for 2 minutes. I use that teeth-brushing time to do side leg raises while standing. It works my abductor muscles on the leg that I’m lifting and it works my core and standing leg, as I to work to maintain my balance. I now do at least 40 lifts on each leg.

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