6 Most Popular New Year’s Health Resolutions

With 2014 marking a fresh start, many of us have embarked on various new journeys with New Year’s resolutions.

Since the beginning of the year is (supposedly) a clean slate, many people see this as a good opportunity to make changes in their lifestyles. Here are six of the most popular New Year’s health resolutions.

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1. Lose weight

After indulging during the holidays, weight loss seems to be on the mind come the beginning of the year. While there is nothing wrong with setting a goal to lose weight in 2014, the problem is that many people tend to fall off the bandwagon due to unrealistic expectations. So if your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, set common-sense changes such as eating more healthy food, instead of going on a fad diet, so you can have long-term results.

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2. Exercise

Staring a new exercise program is a common goal in the new year, so much so that many gyms see a rise in memberships as well as people signing up for personal training sessions. Since exercise is always a good idea, start slow and ease into a routine that you can be consistent with. Even something as simple as going on a daily walk helps. Also, consider finding a gym partner to help keep your motivation consistent well into 2014.

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3. Go alcohol-free

Believe it or not, many people make the resolution to drink less in the new year. While drinking in moderation should always be a good goal, abruptly cutting out alcohol completely may lead to binge-drinking later. If you still would like to go easy on the booze, try lowering your alcohol intake. The American Heart Association recommends one to two drinks (12 ounces of beer, 4 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits, or 1 ounce of 100-proof spirits) per day for men and one drink per day for women to drink safely and without harming your health.

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4. Cut out sweets

Another common resolution for the turning calendar is cutting out sugar. Sure, less sugar in your diet is always a good idea, but instead of cutting it out altogether, limit the amount of sugar in your diet by eating natural and healthy sugar sources, such as fruit. And if you still have a sweet tooth, no need to fret! Treating yourself to a daily low-calorie dessert is a great way to satisfy cravings and prevent binge eating — just try to keep your sweet treat under 150 calories.

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5. Start a cleanse

From drinking only fruit juice to cayenne pepper and maple syrup, many people like to jump start the new year with a cleanse to rid their body of toxins and promote weight loss. The problem is, cleanses have been shown to cause weight gain in the long run and can also be unhealthy and extremely dangerous. Instead of taking such drastic measures to lose weight, start slow by adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet and by cutting out junk food. This is a safe and healthy approach, and will benefit your body in the long run.

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6. Quit smoking

When the new year hits, many people attempt to quit the smoking habit for good. Since quitting smoking is an excellent choice for optimum health, first consult with a doctor on the best approach to help you quit for good. Also, consider joining a support group or encourage a fellow smoker to quit along with you. Having support only increases your chances of staying off cigarettes, and your lungs will thank you later.

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