small changes easy to make today

Add a fruit or vegetable to each meal
You are not ready to lose a bad habit yet? So start with an easy habit to adopt. “Less than one in three people eat two servings of fruits and vegetables a day,” says Erin Palinski-Wade, a dietician, diabetes educator and author of a 2-day Diabetes Diet: 2 Day Diabetes Diet. “Adding a serving of fruits or vegetables to every meal, you take at least three a day and you have a head start. Half a banana on your morning cereal, a small salad with your sandwich at noon and 1/2 cup of vegetables cooked past your pasta will provide you with fiber, antioxidants and nutrients. These elements reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

Work your hips
“If you have a sedentary job, do hip exercises at the beginning and end of the day,” suggests coach Jonathan Hertilus, owner of BFF Bootcamp in Nutley, New Jersey.
Adopt this easy sequence of stretches. “You can bridge your hips anywhere, even in bed when you wake up or before bed,” he says. A few minutes of hip exercises are wonderful to work the muscles of the back and abdomen.

Lose some weight
When you aim to lose 18 kilograms (40 pounds) to get out of the “overweight” category, it looks like a mountain. Choose lower, more attainable goals that can make a big difference to your health. “Small streams make big rivers,” says Dr. Jill Crandall, professor of endocrinology at Albert Einstein School of Medicine and consultant at Montefiore Health System. “For people at higher risk for type 2 diabetes – overweight adults with a family history of diabetes – modest changes can reduce the risk of diabetes by more than 50%. Dr. Crandall suggests aiming to lose 7% of your weight, which is 6.5 kilograms (14 pounds) for someone weighing 90 kilograms (200 pounds).

Lighten your burdens
Store and reduce the contents of your tote or backpack to prevent neck, back and shoulder pain. “When you carry heavy things, balance the load and avoid purses and backpacks that weigh more than 10% of your body weight,” advises chiropractor Robert Hayden of Griffin, Georgia.

Crush the sugar and fill up on probiotics
A growing body of research shows that sugar is damaging to health, besides slowing down your metabolism, disrupting your brain function and increasing your risk of heart disease and cancer. But there are other health problems that you can adjust by decreasing
sugar and increasing the intake of healthy bacteria. “Reducing sugar and prepared foods reduces yeast infections, especially if you’re taking probiotics,” says Gynecologist-Obstetrician Jessica Shepherd, Director of the Department of Minimally Invasive Gynecology at the University of Illinois ( Chicago)