As the old year ends and a new year starts, many people make new year resolutions. Perhaps some of the most important new year resolutions that you can make for yourself are those concerned with your health. In addition, 2011 may be the year that you look at how to incorporate natural health solutions into your life. Not only will you look and feel better, but you may discover a new activity, new friend or new interest!
Maintain Contact With Close Family and Friends
According to WebMD, studies have shown that if you have a strong family and close friends network, you are more likely to live longer than someone who has little social contact. In addition, the quality of your life will be improved too. Close friends and family help you through tough times and help you to become involved in the local community.
A recent study, which was published in PloS Medicine (July, 2010), analyzed 148 cases and the effect of social relationships and the risk of death. 308, 849 people were studied over an average of 7.5 years. The study concluded that people were 50% more likely to be alive if they maintained strong social relationships, regardless of health, age and gender. This study supports the findings of previous studies on social relationships and health. However, there is not yet enough data known about whether social online networks, such as facebook and twitter, have the same positive influences.
Assess Current Health Habits
In the United States, it is estimated that 24.8 million men and 21.1 million women are smokers (source: American Heart Association). In addition, 52% of American adults are regular drinkers (source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Long term, heavy use of either cigarettes or alcohol is not good for the body. A simple assessment of your current health habits might kick start a new year resolution that both improves and prolongs your life and health.
However, despite how “good” our health habits are, there are still times when illness strikes. Consider trying complementary and natural health supplements and therapies for common ailments such as colds, headaches and back pain, instead of conventional treatments. Complementary and natural health therapies include aromatherapy, homeopathy, naturopathy, acupuncture, massage and reiki. Consult your medical practitioner before trying complementary health medicine, particularly if you are already taking a prescribed medication.
Make Time for Yourself Each Day
It might be a simple new year resolution to make but making time for yourself each day is one factor that many people often neglect. Stress is a common result of modern day living but there are ways to manage your stress levels. Symptoms of stress include:
- back pain
- eating disorders
- drug and alcohol abuse
- social withdrawal.
Learning to relax and take physical exercise regularly can help you to manage your stress levels. Yoga, in particular, is often recommended for the management of stress because it combines both physical and mental exercises for the body and the mind; yoga practice need only take a few minutes each day. However you choose to manage stress and spend some time with yourself each day, it is important that you relax and allow your body “time to heal” from every day life.
Assess Current Eating Habits
Many people eat “on-the-go” which is not the best and most healthy way to eat. In addition, regular consumption of fast-food snacks does not provide your body with optimum nutritional benefits. Small, regular meals (rather than one large meal a day) allow your body to sustain constant energy levels. Plan ahead, instead of grabbing the easiest thing to hand, so that you are eating several portions of fruit, vegetables, meat and other food products that provide your body with vitamins, minerals and other valuable nutrients.
Natural Health Resolutions
It may sound simple but many people forget to “practice the basics” when dealing with busy lives. Natural health resolutions can be made at any time of the year but new year is a popular time to assess your current practices and make 2011 a happier and healthier year for you!
- WebMD website: Social Ties Can Add Years to Your Life
- American Heart Association website: Cigarette Smoking Statistics
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: Alcohol Use
- Mayo Clinic website: Yoga: Tap Into the Many Health Benefits
- Mayo Clinic website: Stress Management
- Balch, James F and Balch, Phyllis A, 1997 Prescription for Nutritional Healing US: Avery