8 simple resolutions that will change your life.
It’s 2017, and we are ready to make some changes. Last week we ate an undisclosed amount of holiday cookies and drank a little too much champagne. This week we stocked up on celery and dug out our running shoes. If you really want a healthy lifestyle, though, and not just a quick fix to lose some Christmas pounds, consider making one of these healthy resolutions this January.
1. Keep in Touch with Friends and Family
Good relationships will improve your health. A lack of social connections will actually take years off of your life-expentency and weaken your immune system. In fact, in 2010 the editorial staff at the PloS journal of medicine determined that isolation increases a person’s mortality risk as much as smoking.
2. Manage your stress levels.
Most of us are stressed. How could we not be, as we juggle work, relationships, and finances? Worse, stress begets stress, since it interferes with our sleep patterns, makes us forgetful and disorganized, impairs our judgment, and can even make us sick. Break the cycle by taking up some stress-busting new habits, like meditation, exercise, and spending a little time every day doing something you love.
3. Get more sleep.
If you resolved to lose weight this year, getting more sleep is the best way to start. A study by the University of Chicago showed that people who ate a restricted number of calories lost more weight when they got extra hours of sleep. You also will be more likely to crave sugar and carbohydrates when you are tired.
4. Keep healthy food choices where you can see them.
We don’t need researchers to tell us that when we have junk food in the house we are more likely to eat it. Of course, the numbers do back up our intuitions. A study from Cornell University confirms that women with lower BMIs are likely to healthy foods visible in the refrigerator, and no junk food on the counter. It concludes that keeping healthy food front and center in the kitchen makes it easier to eat healthy.
5. Eat more seafood.
Many of us aren’t getting enough Omega-3 fatty acids, which lower blood pressure and verifiably improve our mood. Try to get two servings of a fatty fish every week, like salmoln, tuna, or sardines. If you don’t like fish, add an Omega-3 supplement, or snack on a handful of walnuts, another good natural source of Omega-3.
6. Schedule your annual physical (and actually go).
We get it, you don’t love your doctor’s office. All the magazines are old, the chairs are upholstered in that uncomfortable industrial fabric, and the wait times are enough to independently cause a health crisis. Still, nothing can replace preventative medical care. While you’re at it, think about finally getting a comprehensive medical history from your family, so that you know what risk-factors you should tell your doctor about.
7. Combine things you hate with things you love.
CNN reports that people are more likely to do something they don’t want to do, like exercise, if they combine it with some other activity they enjoy, like catching up on a TV show. If running on a treadmill and watching a show still sounds too overwhelming, start even smaller. You can do some crunches in your living room or jump rope during commercial breaks.
8. Breathe better to be healthier.
The EPA reports that we spend on average nearly 90% of our time indoors. Air is also significantly more polluted inside, carrying a mix of mold, dust mites, dander, and even particles of vermin droppings. Cleaning your air ducts is a simple way to improve your indoor air quality, especially if you see rodents, visible mold, or a substantial build-up of dust and dirt in your vents. Best of all, you can feel better about your health without skipping a single dessert. Use our easy online scheduling tool
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