Health-Boosting Calendar: 4 Weeks of Heart-Healthy Tips
Monday: Drink plenty of calorie-free fluids, like water. Dehydration can slow your metabolism.
Tuesday: Sit on a stability ball while you watch TV; do crunches during commercials.
Wednesday: Keep a food journal. Record everything that you eat today, even if it's just a bite of something or a taste of a recipe you're cooking. You may be surprised to see how much you're eating.
Thursday: Instead of sugary treats, bring fruit or another heart-healthy selection to a work meeting.
Friday: Start your day with a nutritious breakfast that includes whole grains and low-fat protein or dairy.
Saturday: Walk while listening to an audio book. You'll probably walk farther so you can hear more of the story, and you'll look forward to tomorrow's walk.
Sunday: Skip the elevator and opt for the stairs instead all day.
Monday: Take a 10-minute walk to break up your workday.
Tuesday: Kick boring dinners out the door by experimenting with a new healthful recipe.
Wednesday: Measure your plates and bowls. Studies show you consume more when you use large dishes.
Thursday: Seek encouragement by finding a friend who is also interested in living healthfully. You can support each other as workout buddies and recipe sharers.
Friday: If you eat at a fast-food restaurant, opt for a kids' meal. The portion sizes and calorie totals are much more reasonable.
Saturday: Avoid the urge to circle the store lot for the closest parking spot; burn extra calories by parking away from the entrance.
Sunday: Get out your calendar and schedule exercise time for the next week.
Monday: Drink a small glass of warm milk before bedtime to help you fall asleep.
Tuesday: Wear a pedometer and strive for 10,000 steps today.
Wednesday: Plan out a walking route that will take you through pretty homes in your neighborhood.
Thursday: Take a couple of minutes to stretch when you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed at night.
Friday: Whether you're in your house, at work, or at a shopping mall, use the restroom that's farthest away. That could mean an extra flight of stairs to help you burn calories.
Saturday: Go to your favorite restaurant's Web site and look up nutrition information for your top menu choices. If the numbers are shocking, pick a few tasty-looking alternatives.
Sunday: Don't skip meals. Skipping a meal can lower your metabolism by 5 percent, enough to gain a pound every month.
Monday: To really encourage walking and other exercise, invest in a good pair of shoes.
Tuesday: Calculate your daily caloric needs. Many good calculators appear online, such as the Mayo Clinic calculator. Go to mayoclinic.com.
Wednesday: Keep small hand weights in your office. Do three sets of eight once during the day.
Thursday: Keep yourself motivated (and accountable) by noting your workouts on a calendar somewhere prominent, such as your kitchen.
Friday: Sample a new nutrient-rich food. Try a healthful packaged product, a new recipe, or a food you've never tasted -- maybe quinoa or edamame.
Saturday: Stay physically active and support causes you believe in by signing up for a charity race or walk.
Sunday: Sit down with a healthy cookbook and plan dinners for the next three nights.