10 questions to answer before you set your resolutions

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It's time for some healthy change. Here are some fundamental truths you need to know about diet, exercise and other wellness goals.

Question 1 of 10

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​To get the benefits of exercise, you need to work out at least 30 minutes at a time.

Nope. Even 10 minutes of activity here and there adds up and can cut your risks of health issues, as well as putting you in a better mood and increasing your overall sense of well-being. Need ideas? Try pacing while you're on the phone, doing some chores, or promising to walk the dog (or yourself) every single day for just a quick break.

Question 2 of 10

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​If you haven't had your flu shot by January, don't waste your time.

It's not too late! Flu season is October through March, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but the peak month for flu activity is usually February. Unless you want to risk being a feverish, achy mess, go get your flu shot.

Question 3 of 10

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Which of these can best help you de-stress?

Stress in small doses is a normal part of life and your body is built to take it. But when stress becomes overwhelming, the physical toll can range from headaches and problems sleeping to upset stomach and chest pain, reports WebMD. Find ways to ease that stress, whether it's a few minutes of deep breathing or meditation, losing yourself in music or running around the block. Figure out what works for you.

Question 4 of 10

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Vegetables in a pan and a wooden spoon
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​The best way to eat healthier is a complete diet overhaul.

You'll have more luck changing your eating habits by starting small. Add an extra serving of fruits and vegetables every day. Drink more water instead of sweetened beverages. Sneak in more omega-3s and fiber. Eat less meat and sugar.

Question 5 of 10

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Feet standing on scale
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​To lose weight, which is more important:

You've heard that to lose weight, it's important to "eat less, exercise more," but the two activities aren't really equal. Say an overweight man is eating 1,000 more calories a day than he is burning, says the New York Times. Running or swimming for 30 minutes only burns off 350 calories. It's not easy to keep up that kind of fitness schedule and you still have a lot of extra calories coming in. So the first key is to eat less — for example, calorie-filled sodas and snacks — and then exercise in addition.

Question 6 of 10

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A man in a purple shirt sits at a desk with bad posture
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Sitting all day is OK as long as you exercise to make up for it.

You've likely seen the reports that sitting all day is terrible for your health. Sedentary behavior — whether it's sitting at a computer desk all day or spending hours in front of a TV — contributes to heart disease and diabetes risk, among other problems. Exercise doesn't do much to counter the negative effects of daily sitting. Instead, consider a standing desk or lots of breaks throughout your day.

Question 7 of 10

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messy desk with stacks of paper
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Clutter can be bad for your health.

Having too much stuff has been linked to anxiety and depression. You can feel overwhelmed when you're faced with stacks of papers and piles of items that interfere with daily life. Tackle clutter a little at a time. If you bring something in, like a new item of clothing, make sure something goes out. If you live with other people, get everyone involved in sorting through items, deciding what to keep, what to toss and what to donate.

Question 8 of 10

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Middle-aged man not sleeping
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Get more sleep this year. Start by sleeping in on the weekends.

When you don't sleep well, it seems to make sense to try to catch some extra zzz's on the weekend. But it's key to try to stick to a sleep schedule, going to bed at the same time and getting up at the same time every day, says the National Sleep Foundation. It keeps your body clock stable, which helps you rest better. If you feel you need the extra sleep, don't stay in bed more than an hour or so. You may feel better that day, but it'll throw off the rest of your week.

Question 9 of 10

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people volunteering, planting trees
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Volunteering helps others, but it can also help you. Resolve to volunteer this year and:

You know you are helping out when you volunteer, but you are also doing wonders for your own health. Studies have found that people who volunteer have lower blood pressure, less stress and sometimes even live longer than those who don't volunteer. So get yourself to an animal shelter, soup kitchen or anywhere else where you can help out.

Question 10 of 10

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Forest of trees with sun shining
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Get outside. Just the smell of trees is good for your health.

The chemicals in trees (called phytoncides) have been found to lower anxiety and assist the immune response. Spending time in a forest setting is good for sleep and can ease stress. Plus, just going out in nature means there's exercise going on...and we already know that exercise is good for health.

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new year, new you...typed on a typewriter
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