Boost Health with One Simple Change, from the October 2015 Harvard Health Letter

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Making one simple change for a few days or a week, such as doubling one's fruit and vegetable intake, may help ease a person into a healthier lifestyle.

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The thought of trying to make long-term healthy lifestyle changes can seem overwhelming. But all it takes to get started is one simple change, reports the October 2015 Harvard Health Letter. “There is a lot of power in starting slow and small. The little changes add up,” says Dr. Michael Craig Miller, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. In other words, making a change for one week can lead to making another change the next week, and so on.

A good way to start is by walking 10 minutes per day for one week. Walking is one of the easiest and most effective ways to exercise. It can help lower the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It can also strengthen bones and muscles, burn calories, and lift mood.

Another easy change is increasing fruit and vegetable intake. Just double the amount of either fruits or vegetables in the daily diet for one week. Easy ways to get more fruits and vegetables into the diet include having a piece of fruit for an afternoon snack or adding vegetables and legumes to omelets, sandwiches, or wild rice.

Making small changes in nighttime routines for one week can lead to better sleep. It may just be a matter of keeping a regular sleep-and-wake schedule, which can improve circadian rhythms, or shutting off electronic gadgets an hour and a half before bedtime.

Read the full-length article: "Improve your health by starting with one simple change"

Also in the October 2015 issue of the Harvard Health Letter:

  • Could hypnotherapy help you?
  • Three steps to build a better back
  • The risks and benefits of NSAIDs

The Harvard Health Letter is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).


Media: Contact Kristen Rapoza at hhpmedia(at)hms(dot)harvard(dot)edu for a complimentary copy of the newsletter, or to receive our press releases directly.

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Kristen Rapoza
Harvard Health Publications
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