(NewsUSA) - Many Americans tell themselves the same thing -- their health goals will have to wait because the timing "isn't right."
But some clichés do ring true -- there really is no time like the present. Don't know where to begin? First, decide what goal you would like to accomplish: running a marathon, losing 20 pounds, eating healthier. Then, decide what steps you will need to take to reach that goal. Determine what you can start doing today. For example, if you want to run a marathon, you shouldn't plan to run 10k on your first outing. Instead, set out to run 10 to 15 minutes. If you can't do that, try a brisk walk instead.
SUCCESS Magazine, a publication that seeks to inspire and inform entrepreneurs and small-business owners, offers these tips for Americans looking to improve their health in one week:
- Day One: Buy a pedometer. The American Heart Association recommends taking 3,000 steps every day. Wearing a pedometer lets you count every step, so figure out where you can fit in more walking while working, shopping or running errands.
- Day Two: Start taking those stairs. Have you noticed that you quickly become out of breath when you walk up steps? Taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator will solve that problem in a matter of weeks, not to mention improve your heart's health. Whether you walk up one flight of stairs or ten, you will still enjoy benefits.
- Day Three: Do calf raises at your desk. Lift your toes, then return to a flat foot, then lift your heels and squeeze your calf muscles. You will pump blood back up your legs, improving circulation.
- Day Four: Give up your parking space. Park farther away from the office, store or gym. The extra walking will quickly add up.
- Day Five. Plan to eat all-natural foods for a day. Instead of processed cereal, make a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. Hummus and cut-up vegetables, or unsalted nuts with fruit make good snacks. For lunch and dinner, choose healthy, whole foods like hearty salads or vegetable-based soups or stews. Stay on the perimeter of the grocery store when you shop.
- Day Six: Take time to relax. Sit down with a good book, take a bath, listen to some favorite music or go out for a relaxing walk. Taking time to decompress and enjoy yourself will reduce your overall stress levels.
- Day Seven: Confuse your dog. When you take your dog out, go for a walk. Alternate between walking for 10 minutes and jogging for two minutes. Slowly increase the amount of time you spend jogging until both you and your pup become runners. No pet? Take a friend instead.
Distributed by Internet Broadcasting. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.