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Four Simple Words to Help You Live Well

During nearly 20 years writing about health, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with hundreds of top medical experts about how to live well. What I’ve learned from all of them can be summed up in four simple words.

Move. Nourish. Refresh. Connect.

The science is clear. If you move your body a little each day, you will be far better off than if you are sedentary. If you nourish your body with real food (the kind that doesn’t come in packages loaded with sugar or via a drive-through window) you will be healthier than if you eat junk food. If you allow your mind to take a break and refresh from time to time, you will feel better. And if you regularly connect with loved ones and friends, old and new, you will be both happier and healthier.

These four words — move, nourish, refresh, connect — are the guiding principles behind the 30-Day Well Challenge, a first-of-its-kind program from The New York Times to help you build healthy habits for your body, mind and spirit, one daily challenge at a time. Each task is based on science, and over time, each new habit can add up to meaningful changes in your life.

Each challenge takes just minutes to complete. We’ve created new six-minute move workout videos to show you that you really do have time to exercise. We’ve included refresh challenges to give your mind the rest it needs. You’ll find delicious nourish challenges to nourish your body with more food, not less. And because the health of your relationships affects the health of your body, we’ve included connect challenges to help you get closer to those you love. Here are a few examples of what to expect:

[Ready to get started now? Sign up for the 30-Day Well Challenge.]

A Mindful Chocolate Challenge: Nourish both your body and your mind with this task. Pick a piece of quality, delicious chocolate (yes, I said chocolate!). If you don’t like chocolate pick a piece of fruit or a bite-size savory treat. Then do this mindful meditation from Dr. Michelle May, founder of AmIHungry, which teaches mindful eating. Sit down where you won’t be distracted.

As you unwrap the chocolate, listen to the sounds and notice the aroma. Take a small bite, then pause. Become aware of the textures and flavors on your tongue. As you begin to chew, notice how the flavors, textures and aromas change. Notice pleasure. When you have fully experienced your bite, swallow, then pause to notice how long the flavor lingers. Slowly repeat until your treat is finished.”

Why are you doing this? Because studies show that mindfulness encourages more healthful eating.

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