With only a couple weeks left of December, this 2016 of ours is quickly coming to a close. And while you’re celebrating another year of love, joy, and experience, it’s time to start looking to the New Year around the corner. If you want to make 2017 a year in which you change your life for good – and prolong it a little, it might be time to step up those resolutions. Your New Year’s goals have the ability to not only improve your life but make it even longer! Here are our best, life-extending resolutions for the New Year.
If you’ve ever applied for health or life insurance (and if you haven’t, you should), you’ll remember that little box that makes you check whether or not you smoke. Well, there’s a lot of wisdom in this. If you smoke, hopefully by now you know that statistically, this habit will shorten your life. According to Medical New Today, a 30-year-old smoker can expect about 35 years more of life, while a 30-year-old non-smoker has an average of 53 more years. Smoking increases your risk of myriad diseases and conditions, from lung and throat cancers to emphysema to stroke and heart disease. Not to mention that when you smoke, you’ll pay more in life insurance premiums. If you’ve been procrastinating this resolution, extend your life expectancy and kick the habit in 2017.
Get more sleep
Are you burning the candle at both ends? What might seem to you like great productivity might be undermining your health – and shortening your lifespan. There’s a reason for the saying, “Not enough sleep leads to awake.” According to NHS, getting less than six hours of sleep a night makes you 12 percent more likely to die prematurely than if you receive eight hours or more. If you don’t think you have time to sleep that much, it might be time prioritize your health in 2017. One good way to regularly get more – and better – sleep is to set a specific bedtime and waking time and to stick to that schedule. This encourages your body to adjust naturally to a sleep-wake rhythm, helping you make those hours in bed more effective. Need a little motivation? Ask Santa for some high-thread-count sheets!
Set realistic gym expectations
If you’ve ever been to the gym in late December and then again in early January, you know: getting fit is one mega-popular New Year’s resolutions. But the sad truth of the matter is that by and large, those who resolve to get in shape will break that resolution sooner than later in the New Year. This is unfortunate because exercise not only helps your mood, your stress levels, and your body weight, it can also help you live longer. If you’ve failed in your exercise resolutions in the past, you may need to make goals that are more realistic. For example, if you never hit the gym, it’s easy to fail when your goal is a 90-minute session six times a week. Instead, focus on getting incrementally better. Shoot for 30 minutes of exercise (even a short walk or jog counts!) two or three times a week and build from there. By December, you might be loving those 90-minute sessions.
Whether work or family life is stressing you out, it plays a role in your health – and your life expectancy. This year, shoot for less stress. This, of course, is much easier said than done. Stressing less may require you to be more organized and productive, but it also requires you to let go a little more. For example, if keeping a spotless house or volunteering at your kids’ school four times a week is making you feel frazzled, it’s okay to let the floors get dusty and let someone else volunteer now and then. Stress can be a contributing factor to many diseases and conditions which can also shorten your life. Learn to live in the moment rather than stressing about every detail.
Got a life-extending resolution for 2017? Let’s hear it!