10 simple resolutions for a healthier body and mind | Local

Are you ready for a new year and a fresh start? A lot of people have big resolutions to lose weight or exercise every day, but it can be difficult to follow. If taking smaller steps is more your style, these simple lifestyle changes can help move you in a positive direction.

1. Get more greens. Fill your plate with dark leafy greens and other vegetables. Eating a green diet can help you increase your intake of plant-based foods that are high in essential nutrients and disease-fighting antioxidants.

2. Drink more water. Water helps your cells and organs to function properly, regulates body temperature, and circulates food through your intestines. Instead, try replacing an extra cup of coffee or a can of soda for a refreshing glass of water. Keep a reusable water bottle with you as a reminder.

3. Eat a healthy breakfast. Breakfast gives your body the fuel it needs for the whole day. Try peanut butter on whole grain toast, a hard-boiled egg, or oatmeal with nuts and fruit. Starting your day with foods that are high in fiber and high in protein can help you feel full and energized.

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3. Take breaks while sitting down. Sitting for long periods of time can be harmful to your health. Set an alarm to remind you to get up, stretch, or walk for 10 minutes. Try to move at least every 30 to 60 minutes.

4. Go to bed earlier. If you don’t get seven or eight hours of sleep most nights, you may be low on energy and suffering from the side effects of poor sleep. Turning off electronic devices an hour before bed can help you relax and fall asleep faster.

6. Floss daily. Flossing helps reduce plaque buildup and keep your gums healthy, which can help you avoid dental procedures. Healthy gums not only keep your teeth in good shape, but they can also benefit your whole body.

7. Grow a garden. Gardening can be a rewarding activity. It can help you spend time outdoors, enjoy nature, be physically active, and nourish yourself.

8. Wear a helmet. Do not take chances when cycling, skating, motorcycling or any other activity that could lead to disaster if you are injured. Make sure everyone in your family protects their skulls and brains with a helmet.

9. Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is all about slowing down, living in the moment, and spending time with your thoughts. Use a meditation app to guide you or try it out for yourself by clearing your mind and focusing on your breathing.

10. Plan your annual review. Your doctor is your partner for your overall health and well-being. Seeing them at least once a year helps you understand the important numbers, make sure your prescriptions are correct, know when to get life-saving screenings, and more.

Information provided by Joan Plummer, dietitian and diabetes educator at Columbus Community Hospital.

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