Seven achievable New Year’s resolutions

Many of us love to make New Year’s resolutions but how many of these resolutions do we actually keep? Here’s a quick guide to seven healthy resolutions that you can easily keep in 2018.

1. Get at least 30 minutes of daily exercise. Many of the benefits of regular exercise can be experienced with as little as 30 minutes of physical activity a day. Not only will you decrease your risk of obesity and diabetes, you’ll also experience a reduction in back pain, migraine, and other neuro-musculoskeletal symptoms. Feel like you don’t have time? Try doing a 30 minute swim, a walk or even just some nice gentle stretching while watching TV. You can even do a five minute walk a few times a day around the office to get you up and moving away from your computer.

2. Deep breathing. Believe it or not, many of us often forget to breathe, especially when feeling stressed. This can make us more stressed and can promote illness because breath is fundamental to life. Meditation, going on walks, and taking breaks throughout the day can all aid in stress reduction. Lowering your stress can make your immune system more resilient and decrease chronic pain flare-ups. If you do feel stressed of overwhelmed, just remember to deep breathe and feel the immediate calming effects.

3. Laugh more often. Laughter doesn’t just relieve mental stress; it also fires off a cascade of physical reactions that benefit your health. Studies show that laughing can stimulate the heart, muscles, and lungs— not to mention the flurry of endorphins that are released after a good giggling session. Laughing is a natural way to anti-age, so laugh your way to being young again.

4. Eat your greens. Vegetables like broccoli and kale, which are rich in calcium, can help to decrease your risk of osteoarthritis. Spinach, lentils, and beans are high in magnesium, a vitamin shown to benefit patients with back pain. Wherever possible, try to buy spray free vegetables or even grow your own and save money.

5. Quit smoking. Cigarette smoking increases your risk of spinal conditions and arthritis. Smoking cessation has been linked to an improvement in spinal pain. As a bonus, new research shows that smokers who attempt to quit in January are more successful because of the extra motivation the New Year provides. If part of your New Year’s resolution is to save money, imagine how much you would save by quitting smoking. You could use that money to take yourself on a fantastic holiday at the end of the year.

6. Lose weight. Carrying extra weight increase the load on your spine and joints, making you more susceptible to sciatica, disc herniation, and osteoarthritis. The key to losing weight is patience. Don’t just jump on the latest fad diet in the hope of rapid weight loss. You may lose the weight initially but then it can easily pile back on once you return to your normal eating habits. Perhaps a better resolution to losing weight is changing to a healthy diet. Making a lifestyle change to a healthier way of eating provides for more sustainable weight loss.

7. See a chiropractor. The spine plays an important role in your overall health by ensuring that your nervous system is functioning smoothly. As spinal specialists, chiropractors relieve pain from spinal conditions and assist in improving your overall health. Research has shown that chiropractic adjustments reduce the stress hormone cortisol and boost the presence of infection-fighting antibodies in the body.