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Healthy New Year!

Eating well, getting regular exercise, and not smoking pay off in extra years of active and enjoyable living. But best-selling author and anti-aging expert Dr. Terry Grossman says that adopting simple and fun ways to relax and avoid illness can be lifesavers, too.

Dr. Grossman’s 5 Resolutions for Health:

1.  Engage in a hobby. Reading, watching TV and movies, fishing, or gardening stimulate your mind and body, but  you might also wish to consider hobbies that help you develop special skills and learn something new such as photography, stamp or coin collecting, bird watching, sewing, or woodworking.

2.  Go on vacation. Taking time off is not optional—it’s critical to optimizing longevity. Americans who skip vacations are more likely to develop heart disease, have heart attacks, and die younger than those who take time to relax.

3.  Sleep between 7 and 8 hours a night. Research on twins shows that the ones who slept at least 7 hours tended to live longer than their counterparts who were not as well rested.

4.  Connect with other people. In his book, The Blue Zones, author Dan Buettner explores far flung regions of the world where people experience the greatest longevity–Loma Linda, California; Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; and the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rico. The common theme?  People who live in these areas have strong and lifelong connections with family, friends, church groups, and social organizations.

5.  Floss your teeth. Bacteria lodged in the recesses of gum tissue create inflammation, a key risk factor for heart disease and stoke. Regular flossing could add 6.4 years to your life, according to Dr. Michael F. Roizen, popular speaker and author of Real Age.

What is your strategy for a healthy and happy 2010? Post a comment to share your resolutions, challenges, and successes with other online readers.

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  • Frank James Davis

    6. Do work that you love. And if that’s not feasible, love the work that you do.

  • Brett Guillory

    Ray & Terry’s book goes into great detail about the cause of heart disease/heart attacks and boils it down to basically inflammation being the single biggest cause of heart attacks. As Augustus Mulliner says above, gum disease is a source of chronic inflammation and can have wide effects beyond just your mouth.

    If you really want to read more about it, pick up Ray & Terry’s book, Transcend. :)

  • Lolita Hanks, NP

    http://www.perio.org/consumer/mbc.top2.htm

    This site is from periodontists who explain some of the mechanisms for heart disease and gum infections. You may know people with heart conditions who take antibiotics prior to any dental work, even a simple cleaning to prevent infections. Our mouths are very vascular and even cleaning our teeth results usually in some bleeding of our gums.

    http://jada.ada.org/cgi/reprint/134/11/1543.pdf

    Hope that helps!

  • Augustus Mulliner

    Also, the best comment I’ve heard from dentists:
    “You don’t have to floss around all your teeth — just the ones you want to keep.”

  • Augustus Mulliner

    One such study: The Augsburg Cohort Study from 1984 to 1992 (Koenig, Sund, Fröhlich, Fischer, Löwel, Döring, Hutchinson, Pepys) found evidence that chronic inflammation (gum disease is one such source) could be involved in the onset of coronary artery disease. Generally, there’s a growing body of evidence that points up a link between dental disease and systemic health problems.
    Floss @ $1.99
    Bypass surgery@$40,000+
    You do the math.

  • shelly

    Hi,can you explain how inflammation of gum tissue relate to heart disease? Is there any scientific evidence?