So how are your New Year’s resolutions coming along? To forestall resolution failure, MSNBC’s TIP SHEET asked experts in various fields for simple advice on New Year’s resolutions that you might actually keep.
Once people are in long-term relationships, it’s “as if they forget how to make out,” says sex and relationship therapist Dr. Laura Berman of Chicago’s Berman Center. Her Rx: smooch every day—and hold the kiss for at least 15 seconds.
Take up the tango.
Staying active and learning new skills can help prevent dementia. In a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that people who ballroom-dance have a lower risk of dementia.
Skip the face-lift.
If you want to look younger, plastic surgeon Dr. Norman Leaf doesn’t want to see you. “Most people don’t need us.” Leaf’s message: take the money you would “throw at a surgeon” and for six months to a year hire a trainer, a nutritionist or anyone who can motivate you to eat better, sleep longer and move around more.
“If cell phones could be amputated from people’s ears, everything would be nicer,” says Cindy Post Senning, codirector of the Emily Post Institute. Limit public cell-phone use to quick conversations.
Hoping to meet Mr. or Ms. Right? Try varying your morning commute. New surroundings equal new opportunities to see and be seen.
Have a latte.
Nutritionist Keith Ayoob, author of “The Uncle Sam Diet,” based on the 2005 U.S. dietary guidelines, believes deprivation is a recipe for failure. Instead of simply avoiding your favorite foods, add more calcium and protein to your diet. Aside from the obvious choices of low-fat milk or yogurt, indulge in an afternoon latte, which can provide about 400mg of calcium.
Bill Doherty, professor of family social science at the University of Minnesota, wants families to hang out together on a Sunday with absolutely nothing planned. “People equate being busy with being worthwhile,” he says. Better to spend unstructured time with the kids.
A growing body of evidence shows that nursing a grudge can make you sick. Similar to the stress response, harboring negative thoughts about someone restricts blood flow, decreases oxygen consumption and throws your immune and gastrointestinal system out of whack. You may never forget how your ex dumped you, but “you will sleep better, be more energetic and be happier” if you can put it behind you, says Boston psychiatrist Dr. Ned Hallowell. And, oh yeah, don’t feel bad if you fail at any of these resolutions. “It’s all a process,” says Hallowell. “Every day can be Jan. 1.”
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