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5 Healthy New Year's Resolutions to Try


The holiday season is winding down, and as the new year approaches, many people will be making resolutions to eat healthier, exercise more or lose weight.

These are great goals for which to strive, but you will have greater success in sticking with your New Year’s resolutions if you have a plan. While your main resolution may be to lose 20 pounds, consider making mini-resolutions that will help you live a healthier lifestyle all year long. Here are five mini-resolution ideas that will help kickstart your health journey.

1. Create a file that includes your family health history.

Knowing your family health history is an important part of taking charge of your health. Once you collect your family health history, share it with your doctor who can use it to develop a more complete picture of your health. This information will help him or her determine your risk for developing a chronic disease. With this knowledge you and your doctor can discuss ways to reduce your risk. The CDC offers an online tool that allows you to enter your family health history and learn about your risk for conditions that can run in families. The tool allows you to print your history and share it with family members or your doctor.

2. Get seven hours of sleep a night.

A third of adults in the United States say they usually get less than the recommended amount of sleep, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Not getting enough sleep has been linked to depression, heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. It can also lead to drowsy driving, which can cause injury, disability or death. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep every night.

3. Prep your meals for the week every Sunday.

If you find yourself running out the door each morning without eating a healthy breakfast or not knowing what you’re going to eat for lunch later, having a weekly meal plan is a game changer. Having a meal plan will not only help you eat a more balanced diet, it can also save you time and money. Ready to start a meal plan, but don’t know where to start? Check out this video from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics on the basics of meal prepping.

4. Schedule an annual physical exam with your primary care physician.

Your annual wellness visit is the ideal time to check in with your doctor about the best ways to take care of your health. During the exam, a doctor will monitor your blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, weight and more, giving you an overall view of your health. These tests will also help the doctor identify any potential for improvement. If you need to find a primary care doctor, click here to use Tanner’s Find a Doctor search tool.

5. Surround yourself with like-minded people who share your health goals.

Consider joining a support group to help you reach goals. There are many places where you can find support — whether it be at an exercise class, a group run hosted by the local running club or a tobacco cessation class. The American Psychological Association says sticking to a plan to lead a healthier lifestyle is easier and less intimidating when you have someone with whom to share your struggles and successes. Get Healthy, Live Well offers several free wellness classes that combine group support with instruction by a certified healthy lifestyle educator. Call 770-214-CARE or visit GetHealthyLiveWell.org to sign up today.