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2016

Make 2016 Your Happiest, Heathiest Year Ever

A few simple tips can make your 2016 more restful, relaxing, peaceful and positive, without requiring any drastic changes to your lifestyle.

Diet – Add some leafy greens to your diet. Greens are high in fiber and anti-oxidants. Sauté some kale or spinach with a little garlic and olive oil as a side dish, or add romaine lettuce to your sandwich in place of iceberg. Choose a salad with the dressing on the side in place of a burger. Cook with olive oil instead of butter; the fats in olive oil don’t stick to your arteries. Substitute chicken or turkey for beef when you can, and stay away from foods high in saturated fats. Your heart health, your general health, and your weight should all improve by following these simple tips.
Source: WebMD

Sleep – Life is busy and sometimes sleep time seems as if it could be put to better use. The National Sleep Foundation recommends differing amounts of sleep for people at different ages. In general, however, adults should get between 7 and 9 hours per night. What happens to you if you don’t? Among the effects of too little sleep are: increased cancer risk, deteriorating heart health, confusion, forgetfulness and weight gain. Under those circumstances, maybe that last report for work, or that late night show, should slip down your list of priorities, landing just under snoozing.
Source: Healthline.com

Exercise – Move a little every day. Olympic Gold Medal swimmer, Wendy Boliglio, suggests that it is important to break a sweat every day. Think about parking further from your destination to add steps. Why not bike to work or for fun on the weekends? Take the stairs instead of automated options. Try a yoga class, for a combination of exercise, and stress-reducing quiet time. You may find it worthwhile to invest in a fitness tracker to see how active, or sedentary, you actually are. Start small and add additional goals incrementally when you’re comfortable.
Source: Askmen.com and wendyboglioli.com

Attitude – As the saying goes, “Don’t take yourself too seriously, no one else does.” Smile, interact with others, and laugh. Smiling makes anyone more attractive and more approachable. Smiling can also relieve stress. Turn that smile into a full-on laugh though, and you’ll be stimulating your organs, relieving stress and releasing hormones that increase your sense of well-being. Socializing, or even casual, pleasant contact with others, can extend your life. Our world can be a stressful place, but lightening up a little can make it less so.
Sources: Mayoclinic.com, valueoptions.com and inspyr.com.

Finally, the two obvious ones: drinking and smoking. Generally, (notwithstanding the health benefits of one glass of red wine per day), the less you indulge, the more you’ll compound the beneficial effects of everything we’ve discussed above.

Realize that you don’t need a massive list of resolutions; just take some of these small steps as you work to achieve health and happiness in 2016.