8 Healthy New Year's Resolutions You Can Actually Stick To

December 31, 2013
by Michael Barber
8 Healthy New Year's Resolutions You Can Actually Stick To

Sometimes, New Year's resolutions do less to make you healthy and more to make you feel like a failure. Instead of setting ambitious goals you'll give up in a week, these eight healthy resolutions are easy to keep and great for your overall well-being.

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Eat Breakfast

It's not a cliché that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. People who eat breakfast are more alert and productive, and consume fewer calories over the course of the day. Whether you grab a bagel on the go, or sit down with the family for eggs and fruit, breakfast has health benefits that pay off all day.

Take the Stairs

Give up the elevator and the escalator when you can. You'll burn calories and build up leg muscles. Strong muscles support bones and joints, which is key to preventing injury and warding off osteoporosis. You can lose two pounds a year just by taking the stairs for one minute a day.

Have Some Fish

Just two servings of fish per week can cut your risk of heart attack by a third or more. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish reduce bad cholesterol, boost good cholesterol, and lower your risk of chronic disease like high blood pressure, arthritis and even dementia.

Related: 6 Heart-Healthy Holiday Foods

Get More Sleep

People who sleep less than seven hours a night are at risk for a multitude of health problems including depression, premature aging, impotence, and death from heart disease, just to name a few. You need eight hours or more a night to support good health, so turn off the TV and go to bed.

Drink Cranberry Juice

Just one daily glass of cranberry juice cocktail with 27 percent real juice will significantly boost your HDL levels, the "good" cholesterol. Recent studies suggest that raising HDL cholesterol may do more to prevent heart disease than lowering your LDL level.

Related: 6 Types of Heart-Healthy Holiday Beverages

Can the Diet Soda

Deteriorating teeth, diabetes, increased abdominal girth, increased risk of depression and cardiac disease are all linked to regular consumption of diet soda. People have long thought sugary drinks were bad for them, but scientists are finding that diet soda poses the real health risks.

Phone Your Friends

Staying connected with friends and family is a great way to release stress and ward off feelings of loneliness and depression. After a full day at work, and a busy evening doing homework with the kids, you might feel like curling up with the TV to unwind. Psychologists say phoning a friend is a better way to relax and replenish calming brain chemicals.

Unplug at Night

Hewlett-Packard funded a study that found employees who were interrupted by emails and texts experienced a large drop in IQ. Turn off the smart phone, the tablet, and the computer for an hour or two each evening. Constant distractions cause anxiety, stress, and interferes with your family interactions. You'll be amazed at how refreshed you feel when you learn to unplug.

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These eight resolutions are baby steps to a healthier you. By making attainable new year’s resolutions, you’ll feel successful and healthier.