Oak Hills Womens Center

Resolutions for Better Health - Not Just for the Older Folks

Dr. Carolyn's Corner


Now that we're already two weeks into the New Year, I bet that there are many of us who have made resolutions, kept some of them, and even broken some of them - none of which is hard to do. The key to having success with our resolutions is to be REALISTIC when we make them, be DETERMINED to work at them, and be SATISFIED when we keep them!

I thought about this subject not just because it's New Years, but because of an interesting article I read in the AARP Bulletin, January - February, 2013. By the way, I'm not embarrassed to say that I look at AARP publications! They contain many educational articles which may apply to younger people, as well as us baby boomers. ( However, I'm not very good at keeping resolutions.)

The particular article that I would like to encourage everyone to read is called "10 Tips for Better Health", written by Nissa Simon. It's a list of ten suggestions for activities that we consider enjoyable, and their benefits are backed by scientific research, described in the article:

  1. Throw a party (in other words, have an active social life)
  2. Adopt a pet (they can help prevent stress and loneliness)
  3. Choose chocolate (it's part of a heart healthy diet)
  4. Savor your coffee (may lower the risk of some chronic illnesses)
  5. Raise a glass of wine or beer (In moderation, it's also heart healthy)
  6. Have sex (releases endorphins that act as painkillers and decrease anxiety)
  7. Listen to your favorite music (boosts our mood and reduces anxiety) MY FAVORITE!
  8. Take a nap (helps improve mood, memory, and alertness)
  9. Go au naturel (staying in touch with nature; get outdoors!)
  10. Get off your soapbox (reconsider all those expensive soaps and household cleaners

As the article quotes Richard Stein, M.D. of NYU School of Medicine, "Living a long and healthy life has a lot to do with living an enjoyable life".

There's nothing wrong with setting reasonable goals each year, but doesn't make sense that we are much more likely to succeed if we consider them enjoyable at the same time?

Encourage your spouse or partner to read these tips. They're not just for females, and they're certainly not just for older people!

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