9 Healthy New Year’s Resolutions

Welcome the new year with a renewed commitment to living healthy. These wellness resolutions will keep you energized, fit, and beautiful, inside and out.

By Amy Zerello

Healthy Resolution: Control Your Portions

Want to downsize your figure? Start downsizing your dishes. Studies show using smaller plates and bowls promote weight loss because they help to curb overeating.

Read more about the effect of plate size on weight at MedicineNet.com.

Healthy Resolution: Be Active

One habit naturally slim people share is their ability to stay in motion. Try to inject each day with more activity (adults should aim for 30 minutes daily). The opportunities are endless once you've developed the right mindset.

Check out Be Active Your Way: A Guide for Adults, from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Healthy Resolution: Slash Sodium Consumption

Studies show many Americans consume close to twice the recommended limit of sodium, which is a teaspoon (or 6 grams) daily. Besides contributing to water retention (think bloat!), sodium can raise blood pressure. Processed foods contain the most, so make sure to read labels. Lower sodium diets are linked to decreased risk of heart disease, but are also associated with lower hypertension and weight management.

Healthy Resolution: Increase Antioxidants

When your body breaks down food it produces molecules called free radicals. Cigarette smoke and radiation also produce free radicals. Over time, the damage from these substances can result in conditions like infection, cancer, inflammation, and heart disease. That's where antioxidants step in. How the American Dietetic Association sums up their role: Once you cut an apple, it begins to brown, but if you dip it in orange juice, which contains vitamin C (an antioxidant), it stays white. You can defend your body the same way by including rich sources in your diet. Pomegranates, coffee, and even chocolate contain antioxidants.

Healthy Resolution: Quit Smoking Already

For smokers, quitting may be the hardest resolution to stick with because it is so challenging. If you consider the benefits, and take advantage of today's resources, this could be the year you successfully become a nonsmoker. The National Cancer Institute's smokefree.gov website is a good resource to bookmark.

See also:
New Warning for Smokers: Nicotine Raises Blood Sugar
25 Ways to Stop Smoking Cigarettes

Healthy Resolution: Floss Your Teeth

Like many people, you may not know that bacteria in your mouth can lead to serious problems if you neglect oral health. You may also be surprised to learn that during routine exams, your dentist can spot indications of diabetes and heart disease. One simple thing you can do to head off bacteria is floss your teeth. To see expert solutions to gum disease and learn how to prevent gum disease and tooth loss, check out How to Manage Gum Disease

Healthy Resolution: Wear Sunscreen... All Year

Sun exposure affects everyone. According to the National Cancer Institute most skin cancer develops after age 50, though sun damage starts at an early age. The sun's rays are also behind brown spots, and can make wrinkles appear before their time. Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen, even in the winter, anywhere skin is laid bare to the elements.

Healthy Resolution: Strength Train

In simply 10 minutes a day you could gain more energy, stronger bones, and a faster metabolism -- and you don't even need to lift dumbbells. Here are four strength training exercises you can try without any equipment. Adding these moves to your exercise program will help you burn more calories in less time.

Healthy Resolution: Expect Good Things From Yourself

Having healthy expectations for yourself is important to both your physical and mental health. Obviously, that's easier said than done. A mean-spirited inner-critic can ruin relationships, keep you from reaching personal goals, and cramp your ability to be an active participant in your life. For everyday ways to practice bringing acceptance into your realm, visit Oprah Winfrey's self confidence page.

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