Does the growing trend in personalized and proactive health, wellness, and anti-aging have you looking to make a few new wellness and lifestyle shifts? If you aren’t sure where to begin, start with the micro shifts below. Making incremental changes is key to developing the healthy lifestyle habits that are most meaningful to you.

What Is a Micro Shift?

A micro shift or micro habit is a small but meaningful change. It’s something you can start today and build upon. The more incremental changes you make, the more they add up and the easier they are to maintain.

Another way of thinking of it is to break the habit you want to develop into small steps. Breaking your goals down in this method makes them less overwhelming.

For example, if you don’t drink enough water:

  • Start by drinking 8 ounces of water first thing in the morning.
  • Once that becomes a habit, drink another 8 ounces between breakfast and lunch.
  • Then build on your objective with another 8 ounces between lunch and dinner.
  • Start carrying a reusable water bottle with you as a physical and visual reminder. 

Before you know it, you’ll be drinking more water without thinking about it.

How Long Does It Take to Develop a New Habit?

The age-old belief that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit has been semi-debunked. If the habit is something you do at least 3 days a week, something you really want, and something that isn’t challenging for you—it may only take a few weeks to make it stick.

However, the less frequently you engage in the new activity, the less motivated you are, and the more challenging it is for you—the longer it will take to develop.

In reality, it can take closer to 6 months to develop a new habit. Again, another reason to start small. And another reason not to beat yourself up when you fall off track. Just start again, tomorrow.

What Are The 5 Aspects of Healthy Living?

Before we dive into what healthy lifestyle habits to consider, let’s explore the 5 primary aspects of health and wellness. This includes: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social wellness.

  • Physical—think less about how you look and more about how you feel. Yes, we all want to look our best, but how we feel is a strong indicator of health. There are a variety of ways to support physical health. From exercise to nutrition, and personalized healthcare.
  • Spiritual—spirituality means different things to different people. You may prefer to call it by another name, but it’s anything that makes you feel a sense of connection to humanity and something “bigger” than yourself.
  • Social—according to the CDC feeling loved, valued, cared for, and a true sense of belonging minimizes the risk for heart disease, stroke, dementia, depression, anxiety, and other health problems. This includes day-to-day interactions, but also close personal connections.
  • Mental and emotional—the current focus on mental and emotional wellbeing is long overdue. How you feel is directly linked to your mindset, and your mindset is directly related to your whole-body health. Prioritizing the other 3 aspects of healthy living positively impacts both your feelings and your mindset. traditional and alternative therapies also support mental and emotional well-being.

Habits Contribute to Healthy Living?

Now let’s dive into some actionable changes you can start today to support the healthy lifestyle habits you aim to develop.

#1 Get Physical
This one is expected, but let’s reframe it by considering options beyond traditional workouts. Think more along the lines of simply moving your body more. Moving more is of increased importance if you sit 8 or more hours a day.

Sitting for 8 or more hours per day, without increased physical activity, comparably increases mortality rates to smoking and obesity. You may be able to offset the negative impacts of sitting by upgrading to a standing or convertible desk and sitting on a balance ball some or all of the day. It’s also suggested to stretch throughout the day to increase circulation and ease the physical tension of sitting.

If you sit 8 hours daily, you should also aim to exercise 60 to 75 minutes per day. This doesn’t have to be at the gym. Every little bit adds up. This includes walking the dog, playing with your kids, swimming, and riding your bike to work.

#2 Leverage Technology
Whatever your goal may be, there’s an app or connected device that can help. From smartwatches to Oura rings, and apps that track movement, sleep, vital signs, nutrition, and more.

Connected technology empowers you to personalize the healthy lifestyle habits you want to achieve. They send you reminders and encouragement throughout the day. They track your progress over time so that you can see how far you’ve come.

Some apps even allow you to share your real-time data and progress with your physician. This can be extremely powerful when managing diabetes or tracking other chronic health conditions. Many apps utilize predictive analytics to identify and address health risks before they escalate.

Remember, start small, using apps and connected technologies to make micro shifts.

#3 Prioritize IRL Connections
Loneliness is on the rise around the world, marking what many healthcare professionals are referring to as a loneliness epidemic. It began with the combination of texting and social media replacing one-on-one interactions with digital communication. While digital communication can be meaningful, it is often vague and rapid.

During the pandemic, loneliness spiraled and is something many who continue to work at home struggle with. However, it’s not just those working at home that feel lonely. Our schedules are busier than ever and many of us live in different cities or countries than our friends and family.

So, prioritize in real-life (IRL) connections. For friends and family that live out of state (or out of the country) talk on the phone or video chat. Even a thoughtful voice note offers more engagement and connection than a text message or quick social media comment.

If you work remotely, ensure you get out of the house every day during work hours. Walk the dog, grab coffee, go out for lunch, or work in a restaurant or coworking space for a few hours. This infuses your day with a bit more human interaction. At the very least, video conference with colleagues when you can, even if only for a few minutes here and there.

#4 Stress Management
Just the thought of managing your stress can be stressful, but again, start small. Developing new and healthy lifestyle habits begins with you. When it comes to stress, these tips will help.

  • Identify your top stressors—sometimes identifying the source of your current stress is easy, but sometimes you’re too close to see it. If you can’t see it for yourself, ask someone you know and trust to share their thoughts.
  • Prioritize what’s important—it’s easy to feel like your time is not your own, but it is! Ask for help, delegate, and say “no”. Invest the time you free up in who and what matters most.
  • Nourish your body—what you eat can drastically impact your whole-body health. This can be challenging if you’re prone to comfort eating. Aim to eat at least 90% whole foods, hydrate, and keep alcohol and sugar to a minimum.
  • Rest and restore—from taking a bit of me time every week to getting no less than 8 hours of sleep per night and investing in massage therapy and other activities that help you rest your mind and body.
  • Utilize stress tools and techniques—from talk therapy to yoga, meditation, and self-help books. Also, prioritize close friends and family you can talk to openly and without judgment or shame.

#5 Personalize Your Healthcare
Valley Medical Weight Loss and Med Spa takes great pride in the role we play in helping our patients develop healthy lifestyle habits. We work with you to explore which health, weight loss, and aesthetic solutions will improve your quality of life. Even if anti-aging and aesthetics are your primary objectives, we understand the self-confidence that comes with looking as and vibrant as you feel.

We can help you optimize your health with any combination of:

  • Medically proven weight loss solutions.
  • Personalized vitamins and supplements.
  • Minimizing or eliminating acne and acne scars.
  • Minimizing or eliminating scars of any kind.
  • Addressing initial and ongoing signs of aging.
  • Treating sagging skin post-pregnancy or weight loss.
  • Targeted body contouring and non-surgical facelift.
  • Hormone replacement therapy for women and men.
  • Plumping, firming, and toning the lips, face, and body.
  • And more!

Valley Medical Weight Loss and Med Spa has locations in Phoenix, Tempe, and Glendale. We utilize innovative and scientifically proven treatments and technology to accelerate your health outcomes.
We’re eager to learn how we can personalize your health, wellness, and lifestyle. Reach out today to schedule your new patient appointment!  

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