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Change It Up!

There’s something comforting about a routine, whether it’s the making the same lunch choices or listening to your favorite workout playlist. However, being open to change—even in small doses—can help push you towards the big changes that can be harder to achieve.

Follow the Rainbow. You already know that fruits and veggies are good for you. Each fruit and veggie offers its own set of chemicals, called phytonutrients. These phytonutrients help fight different diseases and have anti-inflammatory powers.

Here’s how to take your phytonutrient intake to the next level.

Choose every color! From white to deep, dark blue and even black (black radish anyone?!) each color indicates the presence of different nutrients with varied benefits, such as reducing your risk of cancer or building muscle strength. Carotenoids, which give a yellow or orange hue, support eye health and may reduce the risk of certain cancers. Resveratrol, found in blueberries and the skin of red grapes, is good for the heart.

Change one shade at a time. If introducing a ruby-red beet or yellow mango is outside your comfort zone, try swapping your usual food choices with a novel option of the same color. For example, you could substitute arugula for iceberg lettuce on your favorite sandwich. Even foods in the same color family can offer a different mix of nutrients.

Hit up some HIIT. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great way to increase cardio capacity and boost your activity level overall. In fact, HIIT was named the No. 1 trend by the American College of Sports Medicine in 2018.

Here’s what you need to know about HIIT:

  • HIIT is an effective way to tone every part of the body in less time than a traditional workout. Most HIIT routines are about 20 minutes.
  • HIIT doesn’t require you to learn entirely new exercise moves. Instead, it uses all-out, intense moves such as push-ups or running, followed by short rest periods.
  • Once you’ve established a HIIT routine you can swap in one new move at a time. You could trade crunches for planks, or burpees for mountain climbers.

Ready to get started? Check out Faisal’s 20-minute HIIT workouts.

Embrace Active Aging. It’s not enough to push only your body in new ways; as you get older, you also need to move your brain in new ways.

While the effect of brain games, such as puzzles, has been shown to be somewhat beneficial for short-term memory, research suggests that learning a complex skill is more valuable when trying to slow the overall aging of the mind.

  • Take on a functional new skill. For example, you could become more proficient with a computer program you use regularly, or you could try cooking a new type of cuisine you usually only order in restaurants.
  • If you dream of more engaging travel, start with language lessons at home and then put them to use when you hit the road.
  • You don’t need to enroll in university, but consider taking some extension classes or online courses. You could even participate in one-day forums on topics that interest you.
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