(ARA) – If you’re not planning on adding “lose weight” to your list of New Year’s resolutions, you’re in the minority. In fact, losing weight is one of the most commonly made resolutions, year after year. But it’s definitely not the only health resolution you should consider making for 2012.
While losing weight offers a host of benefits for many people, addressing other health issues, like your hearing health and psychological well-being, can make equally compelling New Year’s resolutions.
Go ahead and add “drop a few pounds” to your resolution list, but consider jotting these ideas down as well:
1. Resolve to take care of your hearing health.
About 10 percent of Americans report having hearing difficulties, and that includes about 1.4 million children, according to the Better Hearing Institute (BHI). You may think you’re too young to worry about your hearing, but the BHI also reports that the majority of people with hearing loss (65 percent) are younger than 65. Our increasingly noisy world exposes people of all ages to potentially damaging sounds, so it’s more important than ever to pay attention to your hearing health.
Have your hearing professionally tested every year. If you’re diagnosed with hearing loss, talk to your health care provider to determine if a hearing aid will help you. Hearing aids are now more discreet, versatile and effective than ever thanks to advances from manufacturers like Starkey. The hearing aid maker’s Wi Series employs wireless technology, enhances TV and radio listening, and eliminates the need for manual adjustments. In addition, all of its hearing aids including Wi Series and X Series can help reduce background noise while preserving speech understanding.
2. Resolve to take care of your emotional health.
Stress seems like a natural part of our busy lives these days, but too much stress can be harmful to your overall well-being. According to WebMD, stress can negatively affect your mental health, your immune system, heart, digestive system, skin, lungs and reproductive organs.
Resolve to take steps to relieve stress. Stress-busting can take on many forms for many people, whether it’s spending time with a pet (interacting with animals can lower blood pressure and heart rate), listening to music, meditating or getting rigorous exercise. Don’t worry over how you relieve stress, just do what feels right for you and fits into your schedule and lifestyle and you’ll reap the benefits.
3. Resolve to take care of your bone health.
Healthy bones are important for everyone, not just post-menopausal women and growing children. Most of your body’s calcium is stored in the bones and teeth. When your body doesn’t get enough calcium from outside sources, it starts drawing what it needs from storage, and osteoporosis occurs.
While anyone can experience osteoporosis, certain groups are more at risk than others, including Caucasian women who have gone through menopause, older adults, people who are small in stature, and those with low-calcium diets or who are physically inactive, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ensure your diet includes the recommended amount of calcium per day, and stay active by doing physical activities that help build bone strength, such as walking, running, dancing and weight lifting.
4. Resolve to take care of your feet.
The condition of your feet can clue you in to your overall health, and signs of serious problems like arthritis, diabetes and circulatory issues can all be detected in the feet. More Americans have foot pain than in any other part of their bodies they consider vital to health, such as the skin, teeth or even the heart, according to a survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).
To prevent foot problems, make sure you wear shoes that fit well and offer plenty of support, don’t wear the same pair every day, and avoid walking around barefoot, the APMA advises. If you experience foot pain, don’t ignore it; seek a doctor’s help.
5. Resolve to get more rest.
Think you’re OK squeaking by with just five hours of sleep a night? Think again. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) says sleep is essential to your overall health and well-being, yet 60 percent of American adults say they have problems sleeping a few nights a week or more. On average, adults need about eight hours of sleep; some will be alright with an hour or two less, while others will need more.
To help ensure you get the rest you need, maintain a regular sleep schedule, avoid caffeine for at least four hours before bedtime, don’t have a heavy meal or drink alcohol before you sleep, and create a sleep-friendly environment with minimal light and noise.
by: Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.
Sure exercise is correlated with positive self-image, improved physiological health and fitness, enhanced physical appearance, improved emotional and cognitive health, better social relations, and lower morbidity and mortality rates. But a recent set of facts from Men’s Health magazine’s website caught my attention. It’s all about adding years to your expiration date, which you must admit, is one of the key reasons we are all exercise enthusiasts. These five simple steps, according to the website, can add up to 22 more years of life when followed carefully.
1. Salad over soup. That’s right, just one cup of raw veggies a day can add 2 years to your life. Better be raw though to be sure you are getting all of the antioxidants in the vegetables. Cooking, it seems, saps up to 30% of those good-for-you antioxidants. Avocados, walnuts, green veggies, water, berries, green tea, red wine, beans, melons and chocolate all have been known as “anti-aging” foods as well to include in your diet.
2. Shrink your BMI. That’ll put 3 years on your lease on life. But keep that BMI of yours between 25-36 and you’ll be cutting short your life by 3 years due to the potential of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and colon cancer.
3. Go nuts 5 days a week. That is, munch a bunch of nuts, about 2 ounces, 5 days a week. Those hard-shelled fruits of some plants having an indehiscent seed can give you another 3 years.
4. Add healthy, close, friends. Remember, your ever-increasing network of REAL LIFE close riends need to be in good health—it’s contagious. Social connections improve your health. And this can mean adding 7+ years to your life. Laugh and hug as much as possible.
5. Aging isn’t so bad. Think like that and you’ll add another 7 ½ years to your life. At least that’s what Yale University found in a study of positive thinking among older post-retirement adults. Smile more, keep on working, and volunteer! Always having purpose is critical to long life. Always look on the bright side, and rid yourself of any fear.
When it comes to longevity, America isn’t doing so great. Here are some comparative statistics to consider:
- Spain: 79.08 years in 2002, 81.07 years in 2010
- Australia: 80 years in 2002, 81.72 years in 2010
- Italy: 79.25 years in 2002, 80.33 years in 2010
- France: 79.05 years in 2002, 81.09 years in 2010
- Germany: 77.78 years in 2002, 79.41 years in 2010
- UK: 77.99 years in 2002, 79.92 years in 2010
- USA: 77.4 years in 2002, 78.24 years in 2010
Want to push those numbers up here in America? Reduce stress by not even seeing life’s events as stressful in the first place. After all, whether you are hard on yourself or easy on yourself, the outcome, eventually, will be the same.
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What’s included: • Bootcamp Classes • Nutritional guide • Circumference measurements • Body fat caliper testing • Mission Slim-possible t-shirt • Discounts on Personal Training, and Nutritional counseling • Weekly prizes Contact Tammy Lyons or Justin Powell for further details and pricing. 858-456-2595
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(NewsUSA) – With the many healthy resolutions being made to kick off 2012, wouldn’t it be nice if you actually had a doctor’s opinion to point you toward the healthiest changes you can make?
A new survey of practicing physicians by EverydayHealth.com with MedPage Today reveals the 12 most popular doctor-prescribed resolutions.
Top 12 Doctor-Prescribed New Year’s Resolutions for 2012
1. Monitor your blood pressure
2. Quit smoking
3. Exercise 30 minutes a day
4. Lower your cholesterol
5. Get a diabetes screening
6. Control your portions
7. Get a flu shot
8. Take the stairs whenever possible
9. Sleep at least 7 hours a night
10. Eat whole grains, not refined flour
11. For women, perform a self breast exam every month
12. Spend more time with family and friends
Although not ranked in the top 12, the survey includes some resolutions you may welcome.
The most surprising: Don’t give up coffee. Yes, that’s correct. Coffee actually has health benefits that doctors recommend. Studies show that women who drink a cup of coffee daily have up to a 25 percent lower stroke risk than those who drink it less often. In addition to lowering stroke risk, coffee can also decrease your odds of developing diabetes, skin cancer, cavities, Parkinson’s disease, breast cancer and heart disease.
Three other noteworthy resolutions involved in Everyday Health’s survey are to forgive people, try a once-a-week technology vacation for at least two months and don’t text and drive. All great advice.
However, none of these resolutions can be effective if you can’t stay committed to them.
“About 40 to 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, and only about 60 percent end up keeping them for at least part of the year,” says Everyday Health Medical Director Mallika Marshall, MD. “The key is not to bite off more than you can chew. Pledge to make a change that you can maintain. And try to get friends and family involved. It’s much easier to meet your goal if you have support.”
To view the complete survey, and to gain more tips and tools to live a healthy, happier life every day, visit EverydayHealth.com.
by: Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.
No matter how many magazine articles and internet sites you read or TV and radio interviews you listen to, getting into shape for the new year always comes down to the same pointers. It makes me wonder why there are literally thousands of self-help books, hundreds of thousands of magazine articles and tens of millions of Internet sites that say the same thing over and over again. Do we really need to read the same thoughts year after year, be told the same tips every December, continuously be reminded of the value of a commitment to a healthy lifestyle? Seems so.
Therefore, not to be left behind in this silly redundancy, here are six tips I’ve boiled it all down to: 1. Be clear about your fitness/health goals, visualize them, write them down and share them with others. Be sure your goals are very small and specific, clearly measurable, easily attainable, very realistic for you and then put a time frame around your goals.
2. Find a personal or group fitness trainer who is certified to help you get your new year off on the right path. I suggest the ACE (American Council on Exercise) certification, but there are others that are also considered highly professional.
3. Re-start your nutrition and eating style if need be. This includes using the Harvard School of Public Health’s “Nutrition Source” (www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource) guidelines. Ask a friend to help you scour your home for food that’s not on the Harvard diagram and toss it. After all, it’s a new year!
4. Think of “activity and movement” more than “exercise” if you are just getting going. Whatever you do, as long as you enjoy it and are active and moving at least 30 minutes steadily five days a week, that’s a great start! Scheduling it together with friends, having fun, crank up your iPod with your favorite tunes, working with a trainer, are all ways you will insure you’ll still be at it long after Valentine’s Day.
5. Be sure you relish your results with real rewards. From a great dinner now and then, to sharp new workout clothes you feel good in, to bragging rights at work about your latest walk, hike, swim, bike-ride, cardio routine, Les Mills or Zumba class, weight training or new friends you’ve met through fitness, you deserve it!
6. Keep thinking accurately about your health, fitness and wellbeing. The link is always what you think. When you begin hearing yourself go negative, “why bother?” or hear words that sound like you are starting to convince yourself to skip an activity, it’s time to counter those irrational thoughts with the following: A. What evidence do I have that what I’m thinking is accurate? B. What’s a more accurate and positive way to think about it? C. What would I tell a friend who shared the same thoughts with me and was starting to avoid healthy activity she/he committed to? D. Why aren’t I as compassionate with myself?
So there you have it. My boiled down version of what millions of pages of Internet sites, newspapers, magazines, and media interviews will tell you. I’ve saved you hours and hours of reading and gathering information. Use that time for yourself in healthier ways.
It’s your life, a new year, so why not start it off the best way you can? But remember, it’s not where you begin that matters, it’s how you finish. Next year at this time, as we face 2013 in twelve months, imagine being in the best shape you’ve ever been in regardless of your age! You can do it. After all, you are only six steps away.
Happy New Year!
(ARA) – The colder winter months are notorious for sniffling noses, deep coughs, achy bodies and fevers. It’s cold and flu season, which means it’s a good time to reduce your exposure to germs and stock up on supplies that will help you escape any illnesses, or at least help you tolerate any symptoms.
Preventive care is key to avoiding the traditional winter illnesses of cold and flu. Here are some tips to keep those icky germs at bay:
* Hand washing is very important, so stock up on soap and antibacterial cleansers and have them ready by every sink in your house. Also consider using disposable towels to reduce the potential for germs to transfer between family members.
* Starting off healthy can help you be strong against invading viruses. You might be in need of extra fortification like fish oil or calcium, so ask your doctor about adding a vitamin regimen to your diet.
* Get plenty of sleep. A lack of sleep can wear down your energy and immune system, leaving you more susceptible to viruses and germs. Make sure you have a comfortable pillow so you don’t wake up sore or spend the night tossing and turning. And if you struggle with letting your brain relax, a white noise machine or fan running on the lowest setting can calm you down.
* Keep the house clean. Wash door handles, the phone and even the handles on your appliances frequently to avoid the transfer of germs. Keep a good supply of sanitizing cleaners on hand to help speed up the cleaning process.
* Get the flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone over the age of 6 months gets a flu shot. The nasal spray flu vaccine is also now available for people who qualify.
As you’re making a list of all the supplies you’ll need to help prevent your family members from getting sick, make sure you look for discounts and coupon codes online at sites like CouponHeaven.com. Many stores listed on this time and money saving site offer discounts on vitamins, health supplements, cleaning supplies and even pillows, which in the long run can save you a good amount of money.
If you do end up catching a virus, stay home from work to prevent the virus from spreading to your coworkers, and try to get plenty of sleep and liquids to help build your strength back up.
Don’t let the seasonal flu or cold keep you from enjoying the winter months this year. Spend your time discussing the fun you had sledding down a tubing hill or cross country skiing through the quiet countryside – rather than talking about fevers, aches and pains.