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4 resolutions for better health in 2018

It’s a new year, and it’s a great time to make some changes and enjoy better health. Here are some ideas to get you going.

4 health resolutions you'll actually keep

For most people, making a lot of resolutions for the New Year doesn’t work out so well. It can be hard to break old habits and create new ones. This year, instead of writing a list of blue sky promises, adopt a health resolution that you’ll put into action.

I will… visit the dentist

If it’s been more than six months since your last dental check-up, make it a priority in 2018. A dentist will give your teeth a good clean, and check for problems like decay and gum disease.

While keeping on top of your oral health is important for cosmetic reasons, good oral health is also important for your overall wellbeing. Your mouth can be an entry point for infections, and serious dental disease can have an impact on how you communicate and feel. Periodontal disease has even been linked to conditions such as diabetes.

Like so many things, prevention is a lot better than the cure. As well as brushing and flossing twice a day, get into the habit of a visiting the dentist regularly. You’ll enjoy the benefits of a healthy mouth.

MORE: Worried about cost? Find out how Extras insurance can help keep your teeth healthy and bright

I will… join a team

If you struggle to get to the gym, or to get out of bed to go jogging, joining a team could be the answer. Committing to meet a group of people to train or for a game of sport is a powerful motivator. And you’re more likely to turn up if you’re worried about letting other people down.

A team sport is more than just a powerful motivator. Joining a team may also save you money, with dues likely to be less than the cost of your weekly gym membership. Learning to work with a coach and teammates can help develop your communication skills and your ability to give and receive feedback.

MORE: Can group exercise improve your mental health? Find out

Even if you’re just getting in a couple of really solid sessions every week with your squad, research shows that every little bit counts, with benefits like reducing your risk of certain cancers and heart disease.

I will… reach out.

In 2017, research identified that in America, the effect of loneliness on your life expectancy is similar to other known risk factors such as obesity.
Many Australians are also feeling the effects of loneliness. A 2008 study reported that as many as 16% of Australian adults feel a degree of loneliness or social isolation.

Have a think about people you know who could be at risk of loneliness. Make it your mission to engage with them- and remember, if they are out of practice at being social, you may need to extend more than one invitation before you get a positive response.

If you feel lonely, make 2018 the year that you focus on building your social connections. Reach out to friends, family, and local community groups. Growing your connections won’t happen overnight, but if you start now and keep working on it, you could feel very differently this time next year.

MORE: The 7 keys for setting effective goals

I will… sleep.

The amount of sleep you require varies between adults, but it’s generally accepted as being between six and nine hours. Not getting enough sleep or having low quality sleep, can increase the risk of a number of physical and mental health issues. Simply getting enough sleep has a number of health benefits, and happily, it’s not that hard to do.

It’s thought that sleep gives your brain a chance to organise things, your body time to rest and repair, and supports growth, which is why it’s so important for children and teenagers. Sleep is also important for attention, memory and learning.

Making sleep a priority is achievable for most people. Getting to bed earlier, avoiding caffeine and spending time relaxing before going to sleep, are all simple steps to help you snooze.

MORE: Does sleep loss equal weight gain?

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