Health Check: 6 Steps To A Healthy New Year

You're stressed.
You have no time to exercise.
And you're glued to your smart phone.
These are all things that can take a toll on our health.

In this month's Health Check Report, Serese Cole talks with a Fremont Area Medical Center doctor who has six ways we can live better and healthier in 2014.

After talking with patients for more than a decade, Dr. James Sullivan knows the root to many of our health problems.

"A lot of things I see in the office stem from stress and anxiety," said Dr. Sullivan.

His goal is to make his sure we all live better and smarter in 2014 - beginning with ...

"Exercise is top on my list because the long term health benefits are unprecedented. I mean if people are active, regularly - a lot of chronic medical conditions can be improved, quality of life can be improved," Sullivan said.

He says 20-30 minutes, three times a week is a good place to start - and gradually increase from there.

Serese Cole, "Number two on Dr. Sullivan's list may surprise you. It's volunteering. It turns out bell ringing - giving your time - just isn't a way to help others."

It also gives us a sense of purpose, takes the focus off ourselves and puts our own problems in perspective.

And take a look at this table. These are bad habits that many of us have. So whether it's drinking too much, eating too much junk food or smoking, Number 3 on the list - cut back on one of these habits - and stick to it."

"I've had people loose 20 pounds just by cutting out soda so the changes can be dramatic."

Fourth on his list: Start a new hobby. Learning something new has been proven to enhance brain function, improve memory loss and keep our mind sharp.

Number 5: Be Quiet. We're bombarded with information on our phones, on our job, at home and on TV. His advice? Take 10 everyday minutes to turn it all off.

"It would just a make a person a more centered, relaxed person," added Sullivan.

Dr. Sullivan says doing just one thing on this list can have huge benefits - and make for a truly happy and healthy new year.

Number Six on the doctor's list: Make sure you're getting an annual check up and follow recommendations for cancer and other health screenings.

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