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6 Small Steps to Improve Your Health in a Big Way

(BPT) - You want to be healthier, right? But try as you might, it always seems like something's standing in your way. Time and money are two of the largest obstacles, and you may think it's impossible to improve your health without a significant time or financial investment.

The good news is, however, that's not true. Even the smallest changes can have a big impact on your health, and you can start improving your wellness today with these six simple steps.

1. Take a stand while so many others are having a seat. Did you know the average person sits about 13 hours a day? Whether eating, working, driving or relaxing, that's a lot of sitting. Stand up for your health by resolving to get up at least once an hour. Walk to the bathroom, the water fountain or to ask your question in person instead of via email - you'll be healthier for it.

2. Run in place....any place. Effective exercise can happen without the gym membership. Blue Cross and Blue Shield surprised customers at one candy store by asking them to pay for their sweets with physical activity. Running in place, burpees, jumping jacks and shadow boxing - you can watch customers do it all in an entertaining video. And remember that just 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week can dramatically reduce your own risk of diabetes.

3. Floss for your heart. You brush your teeth twice a day, but how often do you floss? If you're like 80 percent of surveyed adults, you don't, and that can increase your risk of heart disease. A good oral hygiene habit includes flossing, so add this simple task to your regimen every day.

4. Don't underestimate the importance of a good nap. Getting a good night's sleep helps you function better during the day, but it can also reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes. But what do you do on those days when getting a good night's sleep isn't possible? Take a nap - even a 30-minute nap can leave you feeling rested and ultimately support your health.

5. Smallersize your plates. Over the last 20 years the average portion size has doubled and, not surprisingly, 65 percent of Americans are now classified as obese. Reversing this trend starts with reversing the portion size. To take smaller portions, start using smaller plates. Your brain will feel as though you have still taken a full plate of food but you'll consume fewer calories.

6. Show the world your most confident pose. Stress is often a part of daily life. Whether it's stress caused by work, home or financial reasons, this stress can also have a negative impact on your health by raising your blood pressure and weakening your immune system. Combat stress by power posing to grow your confidence. Just two minutes of this technique can increase your confidence by 20 percent.

Managing your health takes commitment, but the job isn't too big for anyone. It starts with making smart, healthy decisions every single day, including the tips above. To be inspired and see the benefit of taking small steps for your health, check out more videos at and share with those you love. And join the conversation with Blue Cross Blue Shield on Twitter and Facebook.


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