Special Report

40 Health Resolutions Doctors Want You to Keep in 2019

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36. Really try to go on vacation

January 29, 2019 is National Plan a Vacation Day, so this is a timely resolution. Since 2000, Americans are on a steady pattern of taking less vacation time. The mere act of planning a vacation decreases stress, Pidich said. Being on one is even better. You should always find ways to relieve stress, as it is the silent killer of all things, she noted.

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37. Make sure you have the right meds

“I see many older patients and half of them don’t know what medication they are taking, half of them have expired meds,” Dua said. Just bring a whole bag of every pill you’re taking and go over the prescriptions with your doctor, she suggested.

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38. Exercise 30 minutes a day

“Data shows that even 30 minutes a day, three or four times a week, has tremendous health benefits, such as eating better, sleeping well and [keeping a] clear head,” Dua said. The key to enjoying all the benefits, however, is consistency. “You can’t just work out on Saturday for two hours and expect the same results,” she added.

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39. Walk during your lunch break

Walking for about 10 minutes while going to get lunch and another 10 while going back to the office adds up to about a mile, Pidich said. It’s also good for your mental health. Spending more time outdoors during lunch breaks by walking in a park frees the mind. Lunchtime walks improve enthusiasm, relaxation, and stress at work, according to research. Employees who engage in recovering activities during lunch breaks are happier at the end of the work day.

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40. Eat less sugary food

It’s hard to completely cut out sugar because it is addictive, Pidich said, but small changes can go a long way. “Pick the worst sweet food you eat and cut it from your diet.” If you like chocolate, switch to the kind that has at least 76% cocoa, which has less sugar and is drier. Your body will thank you for whatever you do to reduce sugar intake because it raises your blood sugar too fast, then leads to a “sugar crash,” leaving you anxious. In addition, bacteria in your mouth thrives on sugar, causing cavities; joint pain worsens due to increased inflammation; and skin ages faster.