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9 New Year Healthy Resolutions

“We all get the exact same 365 days, and the only difference is what we do with them. ”(Hillary DePiano)

2020 has been a tough year for everyone. We wish your 2021 is filled with abundant blessings and prosperity for you and your family. Making a new year’s resolution is a great idea, allowing you to evaluate yourself and your life over the past year and discover what you would like to see change or achieve during the next year. People who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t make any.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic loss of human life worldwide and presents an unprecedented challenge to public health, food systems and the economy. Due to no registered medicine or vaccine against COVID-19, the immune system is the best defense because it supports the body’s natural ability to defend against pathogens (eg, viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoan, and worms) and resists infections. 

Here are 9 healthy new year resolutions you can actually keep to boost the immune system.

- Drink more water
Water is essential for our health and plays a key role in maintaining body functions. Up to 60% of the human body is water. We may survive a few weeks without food, but only a few days without water. When the body is dehydrated, it may cause symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, a weakened immune system, lack of energy, and dry skin. How much water should you drink every day? It may vary based on several factors, for example, your weight, your exercise intensity, your living environment (humid or dry), and more. However, drinking water is not the only way to meet your fluid needs. You can also have food and beverages such as fruits, vegetables, milk, juice, and tea. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine suggests an adequate daily water intake is:
Men: About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters)
Women: About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters)

- Increase Vitamin D level

Vitamin D is one of the vitamins that our body needs to stay healthy, including keeping bone strong, absorbing calcium and working with parathyroid glands. Once Vitamin D is deficient, you may experience heart disease and high blood pressure, diabetes, infections and immune system disorders, falls in older people and so on. So how can you get Vitamin D? Ways include:

*Being exposed to the sun. 15~20 minutes three days a week sufficient.
*Taking it from foods you eat. For example, fish oil, red meat, liver, egg yolk, and so on.

*Through nutritional supplements.

- Cut down on sugar
Sugar causes unstable blood glucose levels, which will lead to mood swings, fatigue, headaches, and cravings for more sugar. It increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Moreover, as you know, the immune system acts as the body's health guardian, but sugar can interfere with immune function. As time goes by, sugar accelerates the aging process and causes tooth decay, which will affect your daily life and your smile. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an adult requires 2000 kilocalories a day and no more than 10% of that energy should be taken from free sugar, which contains natural sugar from fruits, vegetables, and honey, as well as added sugar from food preparations. If your sugar intake is decreased to 5% of total energy intake per day, or 25 grams (about 6 teaspoons) per day, it will be better for your overall health.

You can cut back on the amount of sugar added to foods or drinks, replace soda with water, and eat fresh foods and fruits instead of processed foods.

-Sit less and move more
Sitting for prolonged periods of time can be a major cause of back pain, cause increased stress on the neck, arms and legs and can add a tremendous amount of pressure to the back muscles and spinal discs. This is the main reason why school-age children and office workers are suffering from back pain. A poor sitting posture will increase the pressure on your spine. 

Sitting causes your hip flexors to shorten, and your seated position can also hurt your back, particularly if you have a bad posture. Try to take a break for at least 1 minute every half an hour if you can. You can move around, stretch your body, and relax. Set your phone to beep every 30 minutes to remind yourself that it’s time to move.

- Find a physical activity that you enjoy 
When tiredness sets in, sitting on the couch and relaxing may seem to be the only answer. But, getting up and moving may be the best thing you can do to re-energize and eradicate fatigue.

Compared with sitting quietly, one single bout of moderate-intensity exercise, lasting for at least 20 minutes, helps to boost energy.
This may seem to be a lot of time spent exercising, but you can spread out your activity across the week. In total, it is around the same amount of time that you might otherwise spend watching a movie.

If you have not exercised for a while, start slowly. Begin with a brisk 10-minute walk each day and build up to walking fast for 30 minutes for five days each week.

Brisk walking, water aerobics, riding a bike, playing tennis, and even pushing a lawnmower can all count toward your time spent doing moderate-intensity exercise.

- Get more quality sleep
Studies show that people who don't get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to viruses. If insomnia continues, it can affect our overall well-being, and more seriously, it may cause sudden death.

Most healthy adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best. Children and teens need even more. Although our sleep hours may decrease with age, 7 hours of sleep is better for most people recovering from fatigue and allows them to feel more energetic.

- Experience nature
Spending time in nature has been found to help with mental health problems. People who have been suffering from stress, sickness, or trauma can spend quiet contemplative time in gardens or in the mountains or woods to heal. Research reveals that our environments can increase or reduce our stress, which in turn impacts our bodies. What you are seeing, hearing, experiencing at any moment is changing not only your mood, but how your nervous, endocrine, and immune system work. Nature heals, soothes, restores, and connects. 

- Try meditation
Meditation is the process to release negative energies and train your mind. You can  increase your own awareness and surrounding perception through practice. People now practise meditation to get more benefits.
* Relieve stress and improve your health
* Enhance self-awareness
* Reduce age related memory loss
* Improve your sleep

- Wash your hands often
Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. To prevent the spread of germs during the COVID-19 pandemic, you should also wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to clean hands BEFORE and AFTER:
* Touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
* Touching your mask
* Entering and leaving a public place
* Touching an item or surface that may be frequently touched by other people, such as door handles, tables, gas pumps, shopping carts, or electronic cashier registers/screens

Well, now you can make your healthy new year resolutions and make some changes in your life! We wish you a season that’s merry and bright with the light of God’s love. May the season be full of light and laughter for you and your family. 

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