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10 simple resolutions for a healthier body and mind

10 simple resolutions for a healthier body and mind

Ready for a new year and a fresh start? Lots of people go big with resolutions to lose weight or exercise every day, but it can be difficult to follow through. If taking smaller steps is more your style, these simple lifestyle changes can help you move in a positive direction.

1. Get more greens. Load up your plate with dark leafy greens and other vegetables. Going green with your diet can help increase your intake of plant-based foods high in essential nutrients and disease-fighting antioxidants. A nutrient-dense diet can help you maintain a healthy weight and manage chronic disease.

2. Drink more water. Water helps your cells and organs function properly, regulates body temperature and moves food through your intestines. Try replacing an extra cup of coffee or a can of soda with a glass of refreshing water instead. Keep a reusable water bottle with you as a reminder.

3. Eat a healthy breakfast. Breakfast gives your body the fuel it needs to power through the day. Try peanut butter on whole-grain toast, a hard-boiled egg or oatmeal with nuts and fruit. Starting your day with foods high in fiber and packed with protein can help you feel full and energized.

4. Take breaks from sitting. Sitting for long periods of time can take a toll on your health. Set an alarm to remind yourself to stand up, stretch, move around or take a 10-minute walk. 

5. Go to bed earlier. If you’re not getting a solid seven or eight hours of sleep on most nights, you may be running low on energy and suffering other side effects of poor sleep. Turning off the TV and electronic devices an hour before bed can help you unwind and get to sleep faster. 

6. Take care of your smile. Brushing, flossing, mouth rinsing and regular check-ups can help keep your teeth and gums healthy. And taking care of your gums isn’t just about your teeth — good oral health can benefit your whole body. 

7. Grow a garden. Big or small, vegetables or flowers, gardening can be a rewarding activity. It can help you spend time outdoors and appreciate nature, be physically active and provide nutrition if you grow fruits and vegetables. 

8. Wear a helmet. Don’t take chances when you bike, ride a motorcycle or participate in any other activity that could spell disaster if you’re injured. Make sure everyone in your family protects their skull and brain with a helmet. 

9. Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is about slowing down the pace, living in the moment and spending time with your thoughts. Use a meditation app to guide you or try it on your own by clearing your mind and focusing on your breathing.

10. Do a mental health check. It’s common to experience feelings of loneliness, anxiety or depression as you age, but you don’t have to deal with it alone. If you’re feeling down, talk to someone you trust — a friend, relative, neighbor, doctor, counselor or faith leader. Make a point to connect with others who may be feeling lonely as well.