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Small Changes Yield Big Benefits

You can start today - right now, even - on a road to feeling better, looking better, living longer and enjoying a far better quality of life.

We're all familiar with the big steps:

If you smoke, do yourself and those who love you a huge favor - STOP. It'll be the best, though possibly the hardest, gift you ever give them.

Nix unhealthy vices such as drinking, speeding, taking your health and safety for granted, etc.

However many fruits and vegetables you consume, double that!

Those are the "Big Ones", and I don't have to tell you how important they are, but this article is about the "Little Ones". They don't have the publicity of the larger steps, but they're every bit as important.

In no particlular order, here are the small steps I'd love for you to start taking. Ideally, you'll take each and every step each and every day - but realistically, you should just aim at doing just as many as you can, just as often as you can. Let's get to it!

Limit empty calories. You can't cut them out entirely, but try to ditch as many sodas, doughnuts, cookies, chips, fries, etc, as you can. Next time you go to your favorite fast food restaurant (go ahead and admit it, I've seen you there!), have a salad in place of the fries and rink tea instead of pop.

Replace eating red meat with chicken or fish at every opportunity. The steps will be even bigger if you make sure the chicken or fish is grilled or baked instead of fried.

If you're trying to lose weight, switch to using artificial sweetener in your tea and coffee, and switch to a diet drink. A while back, I began a weight loss regime. I simply began using the little pink packets in my morning coffee instead of sugar, and I sweetened my tea with artificial sweetener instead of the cup of sugar I normally used. The final switch I made was going from Dr. Pepper to Diet Dr. Pepper. These are the only changes I made to my diet, and I quickly lost over 10 pounds. You quickly get accustomed to (and even begin to prefer!) the diet drinks and sweetener. I literally can't stand the taste of regular pop now, something I was once incredibly addicted to.

Begin walking. Start with a trip around your neighborhood or a stroll through the park or mall. Heck, even start with lapping Wal-Mart, just start and start today. Make your walking a priority and don't allow anything to interfere with it. You will soon be so hooked on the "walking buzz" that you won't allow yourself to miss a single day. When weather or illness prevents me from walking for a day, I feel crummy, absolutely crummy!

Small changes can yield very big, glorious results. My husband once told me that he had shaved stubborn strokes off of his all-important golf game. I asked him if he'd gotten new clubs, new balls, changed his stance or started scoring creatively. He showed me one tiny little maneuver with the positioning of his hands - he said it made all the difference in the world. All he did was change his thumb's stance!

In closing, here's a website I'd like for you to check out: The Longevity Game. It makes you think - and thinking's usually a good thing.

Keep checking Buttermilk Press.com, as we'll be adding health and fitness related articles at an alarming pace. Make these changes today and you'll be thankful tomorrow!

Joi Sigers, of Hightide Web Publishing, is a web designer, web publisher and web editor.

In The News:

A young American sailor’s journal detailing his harrowing experiences during the Revolutionary War has been donated to the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia.
Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered an extremely rare marble head depicting the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
The most-viewed eclipse in history had an unexpected witness: A Google Street View car drove right to the edge of totality, offering a surprising celestial treat for visitors scoping out the event in Maryland Heights, Missouri.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Construction workers in Iran may have unearthed the mummified remains of Reza Shah Pahlavi, the father of the country's last monarch, nearly four decades after the Islamic Revolution toppled the dynasty.
A Florida fisherman recently caught a 120-pound blue catfish in the state’s panhandle.
Sex-mad monkeys have been bonking off with other species, creating an entirely new hybrid population of apes - and scientists are absolutely fine with it.
A museum in Buffalo, N.Y., recently discovered that a rare elephant bird egg in its collection had been mislabeled as a model for decades.
A 7-month-old female giraffe at an Indiana zoo briefly escaped her enclosure on Monday.
The smell was overwhelming as Madagascar police and wildlife officials pulled up to a two-story home in Toliara.
A 10-foot alligator that took a stroll near a middle school in Florida stopped traffic in Deltona, according to a local news report.

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