The #1 New Year’s Resolution:

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Exercise regularly. People who work out live up to 7 years longer than those who don’t. Also, exercise can reduce depression and boost self-esteem. Just 10 minutes of activity three times a day can do the trick. So go for a run, take a walk, use water bottles as weights, or get on that exercise bicycle. Just get moving!

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Good news! If you love gardening…

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It’s good for your brain!

UCLA did brain scan studies, and they found gardening cuts the risk of dementia in half! It can even help reverse mild memory loss that’s already begun. It’s down to the combination of physical and mental effort that’s required for gardening. It boosts gray matter in the areas of the brain linked to memory and cognitive skills. So if you love gardening, know that it loves you back. Now start that indoor flower or herb garden and look forward to Spring for an outdoor garden project!

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Want healthier, thicker hair?

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Eat a handful of walnuts a day! According to a study in the Journal Of Cosmetic Dermatology, the omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts helped reverse hair loss in 90% of the women studied… and 87% of them reported growing thicker hair. The omega-3s in walnuts provide hair cells with the building blocks they need to function at their best. And walnuts have more omega-3s than any other nut. So eat a handful a day for thicker, healthier hair.

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To fall back asleep fast – try this:

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Think about something you love. I mean, really think about it, to the point you immerse yourself in the visualization. That advice comes from sleep specialist Dr. Christopher Winter. He’s a sleep coach for professional baseball players – and tells them to visualize throwing 30 perfect pitches. Smell the grass, feel the seams on the ball, feel the sun on your face, hear the crowd – picture everything. He says his patients usually can’t make it past 5 pitches before they’re back asleep. Dr. Winter says visualization reduces anxiety and lets our brain’s sleep mechanism take over. And according to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, 65% of the hospital patients who used that visualization technique took less time to fall asleep, experienced significant improvement in sleep quality, and felt less fatigued the next day.

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Having a pet makes us better people!

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Psychologist Dr. Megan Mueller did a side-by-side comparison of the daily activities of pet parents, and people without pets. The result: Animal lovers spent more time volunteering. They were also more likely to do favors for friends and family, and encourage others to lend a helping hand. In other words, caring for pets make us care more about humans. Dr. Mueller suspects the compassion and patience needed for taking care of our pets transfer directly into our relationships with people.

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To keep your brain young…

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…eat plenty of broccoli and onions. A study in the journal Genesis found 3 cups of cruciferous vegetables a week led to less brain fog and better decision-making and helped the brain function as if it were 6 years younger! It’s down to a compound called sulforaphane, which works to repair and replace aging neurons. You just need 3 cups of cruciferous vegetables a week, like broccoli, cauliflower, or cabbage. And add a quarter cup of onions to your daily diet to help the liver flush away toxins, which can slow brain aging by 21%.

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Got a headache or muscle pain?

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Make some fresh ginger tea! That’s the suggestion of registered dietician Brooke Alpert. Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties, because it contains compounds linked to relaxing blood vessels and preventing blood clots. And just one cup of ginger tea can help ward off headaches and muscle pain as effectively as some pain medications! For the best results, Alpert recommends boiling a 2-inch piece of ginger root in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes. Then, let the water cool, strain it into a mug, and sip away your pain.

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Use antibacterial wipes on the plane!

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When it comes to airplane travel, 1-in-5 people will develop a cold within two weeks of flying. To stay well, Dr. Mehmet Oz suggests using antibacterial wipes on the tray table, armrests, seatbelt buckle, and air vent nozzle. Then, aim the air vent at your chest, to keep fresh air circulating past your face, and push away the germs of the passengers near you.

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Don’t share your razor!

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If you live with a roommate – or a partner – go ahead and share your living space but don’t share razors! Microbiologist Dr. Charles Gerba says that shaving creates tiny nicks and cuts that allow blood and bacteria to be transferred to razors – so if you use someone else’s razor, you’re exposing yourself to their bacteria – as well as blood-borne diseases. Like hepatitis B and C, and even HIV. So never share a razor!

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Eat on smaller plates to use weight!

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Hipsters and frugal shoppers who buy vintage dinnerware at thrift stores or Goodwill are onto something. They may lose weight! Plates from the good ol’ days are typically 25% smaller than modern ones. And the Cornell Food and Brand Lab says adults eat 91.7% of what’s on their plate. So, a smaller plate means less food. Vintage bowls and glasses tend to be 25% smaller too. In fact, a recent study found wineglasses alone have doubled in size since 1990! So, if you love the old fashioned look of vintage plates and glasses, go for it. You’ll be hip – and you just may lose weight.

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