Happy Healthy New Year!

Every New Year, we wish others health, and we make our own health resolutions.  The two most common new year's resolutions are to lose weight, and exercise more.  Most of the resolutions are not kept by 21 days, and it takes daily repetition for at least 30 days to create a real habit.  Here are four guidelines to be the healthiest you can; see how you fare!

1. Eat healthy: the healthiest diet for humans is based on whole foods, as they are found in nature.  Choose original foods, nothing from a box or bag, nothing processed.  Make most foods plant based: vegetables, legumes (beans), fruits, and whole grains.  Avoid processed foods like white rice, cereals, anything with additives.  Keep animal products low or none, and certainly eliminate the mammals: dairy and red meat, dairy is the most adversely reactive product for the body.  You would be appalled at how dairy is processed.  Drink plenty of water.

2. Exercise daily: get outside, get to the gym, play a sport, ride a bike!  Make a plan, put it on the schedule, to exercise every day, even if you have only 15 minutes.  We need over 1 hour every day of moderate to heavy exercise to keep in optimal health.  Exercise prevents medical problems and diseases.

3. Reduce stress: meditate, pray, read a book, go for a walk; anything that reduces stress will keep us healthier and happier.  Try to get stressful situations and people out of your life.  Ensure every day to add a measure like counting gratitude or mindful meditation to keep stress minimal.

4. Love: engage family, friends, significant other, keep in touch and communicate, in person on by phone or on line.  Having personal social networks and smiling and laughing increases our happiness and even longevity.

How do you score in these healthy steps?  Evaluate your items, see how you can make them better, and make a plan to improve these lifestyle habits.  If you do, you will be healthier, happier, and live longer!

Karen E Kennedy MD Gynecologist for over 21 years in Gulf Breeze, FL, caring for patients in the Florida panhandle area.

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