Forget those last 10 pounds--there are plenty of other New Year's resolutions aside from weight loss that offer great health benefits for you (and in one case, for others).
1. Wear sunscreen every day.
In the dead of wintertime, sunscreen is probably the last thing on most people's minds. But those damaging UV rays don't disappear when temperatures drop. Applying sunscreen should be part of your daily morning routine year-round. Try a moisturizing lotion (great for drier weather) that offers broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays and has a minimum SPF of 30. Check out more dos and don'ts of sunscreen use.
2. Drink more water.
The humble glass of water is actually a powerful force for your health and wellness. Staying hydrated puts less strain on your heart (it doesn't have to work as hard to pump blood), prevents headaches, leads to better sleep, keeps things flowing through the digestive system, lubricates the joints, and helps maintain a normal body temperature. Women should aim for 9 cups of fluids per day, while men should have 13 cups.
3. Get a blood test.
A blood test isn't just about checking your cholesterol levels (although that's important, too). There's so much information about yourself that can be gleaned from these tests, such as blood cell count, which can indicate problems such as anemia or infection, and the levels of blood chemicals, which could be a potential marker for disease. Make an early appointment for your blood draw in case you need to fast beforehand and follow up with the doctor to go over the results. Learn more about the importance of getting your blood tested regularly.
4. Cut back on screen time.
You may think you can't live without emails, Instagram or Candy Crush, but limiting your time on your phone, tablet or computer is good for you. More than two hours at a stretch can lead to digital eye strain, hunching over a device can cause poor posture (which can contribute to other health issues), and using it at night can disrupt sleep patterns. Don't use your devices before bedtime, set an alarm on your phone or tablet to limit time spent on screens and use the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a break from your screen and focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
5. Learn CPR.
You can be the difference between life and death for someone in cardiac arrest if you know cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Unfortunately, not many adults can perform CPR--a recent survey found that less than one in five people in the U.S. have the proper training.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.