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New Year’s Health Tips

Though our intentions may be noble, only 8 percent of Americans kept their New Year’s resolutions in 2015. Don’t let this year’s resolutions fall by the wayside. Start small, and begin your new year with these achievable health tips:

1-minute tip: Crack a smile. If one of your resolutions is to feel happier, spending a minute laughing can boost your mood, reduce stress, and improve self-esteem. The adage laughter is the best medicine is true. Experts say laughter also provides healthy stimulation for your heart and blood vessels. So, take time for your health and find something to laugh about.

5-minute tip: Plan your day. Many people resolve to free up more time, stay organized, and reduce stress. Investing in a planner—electronic or old-fashioned paper—and keeping realistic to-do lists can help you achieve your goals. A little planning before your day begins helps you to avoid stress and unnecessary anxiety.

15-minute tip: Take a book (or other) break. Some people make it a goal to read several books or pages in a specific timeframe. If that seems unattainable, set aside 15 minutes daily (don’t forget to schedule it!) for reading. This works for any hobby too. You don’t need a large chunk of time to enjoy yourself. When you commit to doing a little every day, you’ll be more likely to stick with it throughout the year. Health benefits of taking up hobbies include providing an outlet for stress, lowering blood pressure, and increasing positive mental states.

30-minute tip: Go back to school. No matter your age, there is always something new and useful to learn. There are countless websites where you can take cheap or free online courses to expand your knowledge. If you’re a more hands-on learner, look into community course catalogues. El Camino Hospital frequently offers a variety of classes, seminars, screenings, and events focused on health and wellbeing. See what you can learn about.

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