In our all or nothing, winner take all, perfectionist world, small changes, even in the right direction, often seem insignificant and meaningless. When it comes to our health, nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, small changes can make a big difference. Mariam Nelson, Ph.D., director of the Tufts Hancock Center on Physical Activity, Nutrition and Obesity Prevention might have said it best when she stated that “It doesn’t take a lot to make a major difference. It turns out the biggest benefit comes from moving out of the lowest level of fitness. The less active you are now, the more benefit you get from adding a small amount of exercise.” For example, according to Martha Grogan M.D. of the Mayo Clinic, moving just 10 minutes a day for someone who has been sedentary significantly lowers the risk of heart disease. Other studies published found that walking leisurely for 2 minutes every half hour, helped to manage blood sugar levels and that “gentle” walking 2 minutes every hour, lowered the risk of premature death by 33% compared to those who sat almost nonstop.
Take a look at the list of small changes below and see the benefit you would gain by making them.
Women consuming the most blueberries and strawberries each week (3 or more ½ cup servings) were 34% less likely to suffer a heart attack during the 18 year study period. -Harvard School of Public Health
Compared to those have no fruit or vegetables, those having just one serving (1/2 cup), increased longevity significantly. Longevity increased with each additional serving. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
For every serving of whole grains consumed, there was a: 7% lower risk of total deaths, 9% lower risk of cardiovascular-related deaths, and a 5% lower risk of cancer-related deaths. One serving = ½ cup of brown rice, oatmeal, whole wheat pasta and other cooked grains, one slice of whole wheat bread or one ounce of whole grain bagel or English muffin National Health and Nutrition Examination Study
Small change in health risk factor can have a big impact on lowering risk as well:
So as you can now see, small changes can really lead to big benefits. Pick one behavior or risk factor to work on and get started. Come to Hilton Head Health and learn more about the small changes that can make big benefits in your life with educational lectures and seminars.