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Healthy Habits: How-Tos

5 Small Changes for a Healthy, Happy Life

Has your daily routine become a little too routine? These simple healthy life tricks will help you shake things up for the better.

The start of a new year is a smart time to discover ways that will actually make you excited to lace up your sneakers again. “I wasn’t crazy about a fitness class I was taking. But then I found a class in jazz dancing, and now I’m having the time of my life,” says Marion Jacobs, Ph.D., author of Take-Charge Living: How to Recast Your Role in Life ... One Scene at a Time. Most fitness centers start new programming in January so investigate the offerings in your area -- and try anything that sounds interesting at least once. Don’t limit yourself to your local health clubs. Community centers, community colleges and even hospitals also offer classes.

If you’re lucky enough to work for yourself, break free of your usual office space. Find a lively local cafe with free Wi-Fi and set up camp there a few times a month. Don’t have a choice in your surroundings? Switch up how you get to the office. Take a different way to or from work, and chances are you’ll drive by things you haven’t seen before.

What’s more of a snore than doing chores? It’s simple to inject some enjoyment into everyday tasks. Listen to an audio book while you’re washing dishes, create a music playlist you can groove to while folding laundry or treat yourself to a smoothie or cup of coffee while grocery shopping.

Have you ever tasted jicama? What about red lentils or farro? Pick one new healthy ingredient at the supermarket each week, and check out recipe websites like Epicurous.com or FoodNetwork.com for delicious ways to use it. Or try mixing up your meals every once in a while. Enjoy breakfast foods, like pancakes or waffles, for supper or dinner leftovers like roasted squash or veggie pizza at breakfast.

Brushing your teeth and other self-care tasks are serious business, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun while doing them. Try balancing on one foot while brushing your teeth (alternate feet every 30 seconds while you brush for the full two minutes) or floss in front of the TV rather than in the bathroom. You’ll be done before you know it.

What’s your favorite way to make life healthy and happy? Share below or tweet us @Completely_You

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