New Years resolutions are made and many are aborted in days or weeks after January 1. Here are 10 suggestions for better health that you can probably keep. If you do, you will probably have a longer and happier life.
1. Celebrate with a friend
People with social connections with family and friends are less likely to experience a decline in ability to reason and remember. Social activity may help preserve your ability to perform your day-to-day activities as you age.
2. Get a pet
People who own pets have healthier hearts and make fewer visits to the doctor. Dogs make better exercise partners than birds, as they want to go for a daily walk.
3. Chew some chocolate
Chocolate is now considered the darling of the heart healthy diet family. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which is a natural anti-oxidant that helps the body’s cells resist damage that may contribute to cancer.
4. Embrace your cup of coffee
Regular or decaf coffee appears to lower the risk of dying from chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and pneumonia. Coffee also protects against skin cancer, liver damage, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. One study purported that three cups of coffee a day may protect against Alzheimer’s disease or delay its onset.
5. Wine is wonderful
A glass of either red or white wine is heart-healthy. Even beer is good for the heart. The key to drinking either wine or beer is moderation-one glass a day for women; two glass a day for men.
6. Sex-A little is good, more is better
The damaging myth about older adults is that aging means putting your sex life on the back burner. Sex is good for you regardless of your age if it is safe sex. Sex causes the brain to release endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that act as painkillers and reduce anxiety. Sex also bolsters the immune system. More sex is also associated lower levels of depression.
7. Music is medicinal
Music boosts mood and reduces anxiety and even makes it possible to get a good nights sleep. Studies show that people feel less pain and need less pain medications after surgery if they listen to music while recuperating.
8. Nap like a baby
A mid afternoon nap can improve mood, memory alertness and learning. A 20 minute nap improves alertness and performance without leaving you feeling groggy. Sipping a cup of coffee before closing your eyes will help you wake up alert. It takes about 20 minutes for caffeine to enter the blood stream, so its effects start to kick in when you wake up.
9 Say hello to nature
Being around nature for as little as five minutes a day can boost your mood and sense of well-being.
10. Select a healthy soap
Soaps that contain antibacterial triclosan, which are no more effective than plain soaps, may be harmful. Washing your hands in warm water with plain soap for 20 seconds will be just as effective as using expensive antibacterial soaps.
Bottom Line: Ponce de Leon scoured the coast of Florida for what he hoped was the legendary fountain of youth. Five centuries later, no one has found the fountain of youth, but we can add youth to our aging process by just adhering to these 10 health resolutions. Happy New Year to all of my friends, family, and followers.