A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that simple email reminders to choose healthier habits actually has an impact on the health choices a person makes each day. It may sound crazy, but the short emails that made easy suggestions to eat more healthfully or boost physical activity had a significant effect on the recipients’ behavior.
People that were receiving emails about physical activity increased their exercise by one hour per week, and those who were reminded to eat more fruits and vegetables increased their intake by about 1/3 of a cup per day. One of the senior research scientists from the study, Barbara Sternfeld, suggested that the emails serve as “quick alerts [that] remind your brain of the goals you’ve set for yourself. So instead of standing around talking to a co-worker for 10 minutes, you may decide to take a lap around the parking lot and back.”
So my Just For Today challenge for you is to sign up for a healthy newsletter that will serve as a little reminder about your health-related goals!
If you want to learn more about healthy eating and choosing the best foods, Shape magazine has a great newsletter called “SHAPE Your Diet” that I highly recommend. The weekly newsletter has a variety of articles about eating well, healthy recipes, and food news.
If you’re looking for some exercise and fitness motivation, Jillian Michaels has an awesome newsletter with fitness tips and new workout ideas that’s delivered five days per week. You also might like Men’s Health magazine’s “Exercise of the Week” newsletter, especially if you tend to get in exercise ruts or get easily bored with the same routines.
I think the same theory – that daily reminders really make a difference – could also apply to other areas of your life besides physical fitness. If you want to get better at being financially fit, you might like stretcher.com’s Dollar Stretcher Tips newsletter that’s delivered twice each week and contains tips on saving money and time on a variety of expenses.
Email newsletters are really just gentle reminders. When you get reminded each day of your goals – and get new ideas on how you can achieve them – you’re more likely to keep thinking about them and also act on them. So Just For Today, sign up for one – or two! If you have some favorite newsletters, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!