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New Year's is time for resolutions
Health advice
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New Year’s celebrations are among the oldest holidays.
First observed about 4,000 years ago in ancient Babylon, Babylonians celebrated the beginning of a new year on what is now March 23. Although they had no written calendar, they timed this celebration in late March as it was the time of year that spring began and new crops were planted.
A Babylonian New Year celebration lasted for 11 days and each day had its own particular form of celebration. Modern New Year’s Eve festivities can’t compare to those first events.
The Romans continued to observe the New Year on March 25, but their calendar was constantly being changed by various emperors and the calendar eventually got out of synchronization with the sun.
In 153 BC, the Roman senate wishing to logically arrange the calendar, declared January 1 to be the beginning of the New Year. But this didn’t stop successive emperors from tampering with dates for the New Year. Then in 46 BC, Julius Caesar, established what has come to be known as the Julian Calendar and January 1 again became the date for the New Year.
No matter the year, New Year’s Eve has always been a time for looking back on the past and forward to the coming year. It’s a time when we can reflect on changes we want or need to make and resolve to accomplish in the coming year.
In past years, the top 10 most common New Year Resolutions were:
1. Lose weight         
2. Stop smoking         
3. Stick to a budget         
4. Save or earn more money    
5. Find a better job         
6. Become more organized
7. Exercise more
8. Be more patient at work/with others
9. Eat better
10. Become a better person
There is nothing wrong with the above resolutions; you could adopt them for 2008, but here are some selections for the coming year. You don’t have to choose ten; choose two and make them happen.
1) Make time for and enjoy family and friends: Be around people who provide love, laughter and support. It will be reflected in your attitude. Laughter really is the best medicine so put as much humor in your life as possible.
2) Make physical fitness a priority: Regular exercise has more health benefits than anything else known to man. Studies show that it reduces the risk of some cancers, increases longevity, helps achieve and maintain weight loss, enhances mood, lowers blood pressure, and even improves arthritis. In short, exercise keeps you healthy and makes you look and feel better. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week but even getting regular exercise in small increments provides significant heart benefits. Changes in the method of workout (an aerobic dance class instead of walking) or walking in the great outdoors can help alleviate some of the tedium of regular exercise.
3) Lose weight if you are overweight: More than 66 percent of America adults are overweight, making weight loss one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. Set reasonable goals and stay focused are the two most important factors in sticking with a weight loss program. Celebrate small victories and reward yourself with items other than food.
4) Feel better by eating properly: Load up on colorful vegetables and fruit. Lower your fat intake, caffeine, sugar and salt. Some nutritionist use the 90/10 rule that advises people that if they eat healthy 90 percent of the time, then you can cut yourself some slack and eat pleasurably 10 percent of the time. Sometimes it is a real eye opener to keep up with what you eat in a day. We often don’t realize how much junk food we ingest.
5) If you smoke, STOP! It’s bad for you and everyone around you.
6) Quit or lower your alcohol drinking levels  
7) Challenge your mind by going back to school or learning something new - you can teach an old dog new tricks and an interesting hobby or vocation may be just around the bend.
8)  Find ways to help your community or a favorite charity - volunteer your time and talents.
9) Work at getting organized: This helps limit stress and can make daily routines require less time, creating more time for really enjoyable hobbies and pleasurable physical activities.
10 Reduce stress and enjoy life more: Listen to your body and when it says “enough,” pay attention. Remember, “all things in moderation.” Too much of anything is usually not healthy. Find something to be thankful for. Do at least one fun (healthy) thing a day. Also, as often as possible, get a good night’s sleep. Sufficient sleep has a powerful affect on emotional health and well-being.
Other things you might consider are; to get out of debt, read more, think about all those things you’ve always wanted to do, pick a few and do them or develop a stress reliever (AKA as a hobby).
Happy Holidays
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