5 Healthy Habits to Bring into the New Year

February 25, 2015
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Every year, millions of people make unrealistic New Year's resolutions that ultimately fail. To give yourself the best possible chance at meeting a new goal, it helps to make practical changes that won't drastically upend your life.
Making Healthy Living Habits
To make long-term positive changes to your health and physique, you need to develop new habits that become virtually second nature. Just as you brush and floss your teeth without thinking much about it, you can create regular routines that are much easier to stick with. The following minor lifestyle alterations can have a big impact on your overall health and well-being, without taxing your schedule or your willpower.
Exercise in small doses: Studies have shown that short bouts of high-intensity exercise can improve endurance, and other important health markers. Aim for no fewer than 15 minutes three to four times a week and be sure to keep the intensity up the entire time.
Meditate: Research indicates that mediation can actually change the way our brains function, resulting in psychological improvements that reduce anxiety, addiction, depression and stress.
Eat an apple every day: Fiber-rich and nutrient-dense, apples contain special compounds that can improve fat metabolism.
Eat more greens: Dubbed "super foods," cruciferous vegetables and leafy greens contain vitamins, protein, and fiber, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. By adding a few to your regular diet, you can make a substantial impact on your long-term health.
Prioritize sleep: Studies have linked insufficient sleep to a myriad of troubling health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, stroke, high blood pressure, depression and more. The average adult needs between seven to nine hours of sleep; however, most Americans get much less. Sleeping problems have become so prevalent; in fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have named insufficient sleep a public health epidemic.
By prioritizing sleep, you can significantly improve your health and general well being. This means avoiding things that keep you up, including mobile devices and televisions, which promote insomnia by emitting blue light that decreases
Melatonin. You should also avoid alcohol and late night meals, which promote shallow non-restorative sleep cycles.

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