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Four New Year’s Resolutions for Better Health in 2015

It’s that time of the year again. Studies show almost half of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. Every January we vow this will be the year we get in shape, make more money, and start volunteering.

While those are all great goals, perhaps the most important resolution we can make is to take better care of our bodies and minds in the days and months ahead. When you take care of yourself, you have the energy to work towards a promotion (or find a better-paying job), start a new exercise regime, and become more active in your community.

Here are four resolutions to make for a healthier body and happier mind in 2015.

Get Enough Sleep

The average adult needs eight hours of sleep, but recent polls show nearly 40% of Americans get less than six hours of shuteye. Over time, this sleep deficit can cause everything from memory problems to reduced immunity. How are you going to get killer abs if you’re always sick?

Integrate Yoga Into Your Exercise Regime

Yoga improves your flexibility, balance and coordination. It also decreases anxiety, improves digestion and raises your energy levels. But beyond the physical benefits, many believe yoga also increases confidence, focus and concentration, all important factors for a successful career!

Look for yoga classes in your community. Each instructor has a different style, so it’s important to shop around and find a class that works for you. You can also find free yoga routines online. New York City yoga instructor Tara Stiles has a YouTube channel where she shares routines, tips and lessons on specific poses.

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

The CDC recommends most adults eat four to five cups of fruit and vegetables per day. And for good reason. Studies show a diet rich in fruit and vegetables can help prevent everything from cancer and cataracts, to heart disease and stroke. Fruits and vegetables are a great source of fiber and vitamins. They’re also traditionally less caloric and more filling than other foods.

Use the CDC calculator to estimate how many fruits and vegetables you should eat each day.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of actively focusing your attention on the current moment and observing it without judgment. According to Harvard Health, people who practice mindfulness have less regrets, better self-esteem, and are able to form deeper bonds with others. Practicing mindfulness has also been shown to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and ease chronic pain

Set aside several minutes, two to three times a day to sit quietly and touch base with your feelings, the sensations in your body, and the contents of your thoughts. Don’t judge what you observe as good or bad. When your mind starts to wander, gently bring your attention back to your breath.

If you wish to take your practice further, the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, CA offers a free online mindfulness meditation course.

Follow the four resolutions above and you’ll be well on your way to a Happy and Healthy 2015. Good To Go wishes you all the best in the New Year.