26 Resolutions for 2020
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Get Healthy in the New Year: 26 Resolutions for 2020

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26 Resolutions for 2020
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Healthy and Wise

It's almost a new year — and that means it's time to think about resolutions. Setting goals that will help you feel better physically and mentally may also save a little money, but goals can be hard to keep. Luckily, these 26 healthy resolutions are easy to achieve and maintain. As with all New Year's resolutions, it's important to write them down, share with family and friends, and decide how to hold yourself accountable.

Sleep More
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Exercise 20 Minutes a Day
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Get Moving

Don't make a radical change, as the physical strain could result in injury and end your new workout plan before it even begins. Moving more could be as simple as a daily 15-minute walk or a 10-minute yoga video each morning. An hour of physical activity every day is a laudable goal, but small increments can also boost physical and emotional well-being.

Lift Weights
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Lift Weights

Already a regular at the gym? For a few days each week, try shifting your focus from cardio to lifting weights. Weights help build lean muscle mass, fire up your metabolism, and enhance your cardio sweat sessions, too — though use caution to avoid injury.

Drink More Water
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Drink More Water

While the old saw about drinking eight glasses of water a day is outdated, staying hydrated is still critical for good health. Don't wait until thirst hits. Sip fluids regularly throughout the day and with each meal. People who live in hotter climates or engage in physical activity need more water than more sedentary people in cooler climates. People who are sick and women who are breastfeeding should also hydrate.

Skip Fancy Coffee Drinks
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Ditch Sugary Drinks

Kicking a soda, sweetened coffee, or juice habit for plain water is vital for good health. This simple New Year's resolution saves about 240 calories for each 20-ounce soda — along with whatever money that might have gone toward the bad habit, which has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. A glass of water costs mere pennies. If you hate to ban Coca-Cola and other sweet drinks forever, be sure they're an occasional treat. 

Limit the Booze
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Limit the Booze

An occasional alcoholic drink is fine, but overdoing it on a regular basis can have serious health effects. Excessive alcohol consumption has been associated with problems such as depression, memory loss, seizures, liver and heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and even some cancers. Cutting back on the booze also alleviates pressure on the wallet. Try non-alcoholic drinks instead. 

Strengthen Social Ties
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Strengthen Social Ties

Having friends and strong social ties is vital to well-being. A study published by the Public Library of Science (PLOS Medicine) suggests that social ties can influence life span as much as known health factors such as smoking, obesity, and alcohol abuse. Find your people and stick with them.

Stop Smoking
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Stop Smoking

This is a popular resolution for good reason. The detrimental effects of smoking are well established, and there's no excuse for holding on to this smelly, expensive, and simply bad habit. Although it's difficult to do, resolve to quit and make it happen whether that means cold turkey or using nicotine patches (if you consider vaping as an alternative, learn about the pros and cons first). The savings will accrue to your health as well as your budget.

Shop With a List
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Shop With a List

Walking into the supermarket with a shopping list is an effective way to avoid impulse purchases of unhealthy foods and save money while doing it. Instead of randomly tossing items into your cart, follow a list that includes healthy options such as fresh fruits and vegetables and keep processed foods to a minimum.

Meditate
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volunteers cleaning park
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Take a Vacation
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Take a Vacation

Everyone needs a break and get some distance from the daily grind. Resolve to take a vacation (or at least several long weekend getaways) in the coming year. Taking an extended break can improve cardiovascular health, decrease depression, and ironically, improve productivity.

Disconnect Each Day
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Try Something New
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Try Something New

Breaking away from the daily routine can be a boon to health. Challenge your body in a new way, or take a new dance, fitness, or martial arts class. Harvard Medical School says challenging your mind with a new hobby can improve mental acuity into old age.

Meet Someone New
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Meet Someone New

Meeting new people exposes you to new ideas, a diversity of opinions, and can help with feelings of isolation or depression. Sign up for a local meet-up that interests you, join a new book club or moms group, or make it a goal to talk to someone in that new fitness class you're taking. Chances are you'll meet new people and have fun.

Learn
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Learn

Keeping the mind active is as critical to health as keeping the body active. Exercising the mind boosts memory, vocabulary, and self-esteem. Take a class at a community center or community college, or go back to school for that degree you always wanted.

Take Hourly Breaks
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Take Hourly Breaks

Take five minutes of every hour during the day to get moving. This is especially important for desk jockeys or anyone who leads a sedentary lifestyle. Set a timer to signal the moment to stand up and stretch or walk around. The small break is a good way to give the brain some relief and get the blood pumping.

Eat Dark, Leafy Greens
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Eat Dark, Leafy Greens

Kale, spinach, cabbage, arugula, turnip greens — they all provide health benefits. Dark leafy greens contain calcium, iron, and folic acid, help to prevent cancer and heart disease, and manage weight and Type 2 diabetes. Commit to adding more of these vegetables to your diet this year.

Bulk Up Breakfast
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Bulk Up Breakfast

If you're accustomed to a quick bowl of cereal or a pop tart on the way out the door, its time to rethink breakfast. This essential meal of the day needs to be balanced and healthy no matter how rushed you are in the mornings. If you don't have time to whip up a fresh breakfast everyday, try prepping it all on the weekend so you can still grab and go on busy weekday mornings, without sacrificing your nutrition and health. 

Ditch Yo-Yo Dieting
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Ditch Yo-Yo Dieting

Instead of hopping from one diet fad to another, try making permanent diet changes that you can live with indefinitely. Extreme diets may work fast and suddenly, but rarely do any of these work in the long run because they are too hard to maintain for any length of time. Instead make healthy eating changes that you can live with and that are easy to maintain.

Pack Lunch
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Pack Lunch

Instead of eating out every day, bring lunch from home to save money and calories. Brown-bagging gives you more control over the quality and quantity of food you eat and an opportunity to pack in those dark, leafy greens.

Find a Workout Pal
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Find a Workout Pal

Raise the odds of getting and staying active by working out with a pal. The buddy system keeps partners accountable and on track. It's also easier to meet goals and a lot more fun with a friend beside you. Can't find a buddy? Workout with a pet instead. 

Plank It
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Plank It

This may sound silly, but get in the habit of holding a plank position (as if you're about to do a pushup) every morning after getting out of bed. Consider this activity as much a necessity as brushing your teeth. Start for a few seconds and increase the time gradually to at least one minute. A plank works the entire body and gets you ready to stay active all day.

Say No
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Say No

Overextending oneself is an American pastime. Everyone is overworked, overbooked, and downright stressed. Vow to put yourself first this year by saying no at least once a day. This will help eliminate at least some stress, which is good for mental and physical health.

Save Money
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Save Money

Being in debt can be stressful, but there are many ways to save more in the coming year. Cutting daily outlays by $10 adds up to big savings and is easier than you might think. Simple suggestions: Bike or carpool to work instead of driving, make coffee in the morning (or cold brew the night before) instead of hitting a local haunt, and work out at home instead of buying a gym membership.

Focus on Experiences
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Focus on Experiences

Instead of making 2019 the year of accumulating things, try making it the year for experiences. Less stuff means less money spent, less clutter, less that you have to take care of, and more money in your wallet to go out and make memories with loved ones.