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.