Meadville Tribune

Our Health

December 30, 2013

Wishing you a happy new you in the new year

Last year, various bloggers posted lists of some of the strangest New Year’s resolutions that revolved around personal health. While they aren’t the traditional “lose weight” or “eat more fruits and vegetables” types of resolutions, they are truly exceptional goals — all revolving around healthy improvements to your life. Here are six that I encourage you to put on your list for 2014:

Learning how to live in an aging body. As we age, our bodies seems to fail us in areas we never expected. A body at age 80 is far different than the same body at age 60. Likewise, a 40-year-old body is truly not an 18-year-old one. The resolution is “learn about how your body changes as you age and adjust your health requirements as needed.”

Schedule your prostate or breast cancer screening. Both are not very pleasant, yet they can really help improve your chances of early detection and prevention. Most health insurances will fully cover such preventative care, so there is no need to keep putting it off. The resolution: “Call your doctor and schedule your exam.”

Be pesticide-free. Along with the expansion of genetically modified foods and the ever-increasing use of chemicals on our nation’s food supply comes an increase in cancers and other health issues associated with such harmful substances. Resolve to remove or reduce them from your home and your life. The resolution: “Eat more organic foods, wash your fruits and vegetables and take care to eliminate exposure to chemicals.”

Achieve the perfect smile. Dental health has been associated with a variety of other health issues such as blood disorders and heart disease along with various mental health concerns such as depression. You can start this resolution with little effort: Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss and maintain routine dental appointments. For some, tooth extractions, braces or even dentures may help you with this goal. The resolution: “Improve your smile with good dental hygiene.”

Learn something you never learned as a child. Can you jump rope? How about playing hopscotch? What about riding a bike or swimming? Most of us learned how to do these things as children, yet some never did. Find that one thing that you should have learned when you were young but never did. Put in on your list. Some of these can boost not only your mental health but also your physical health. Resolution: “Learn how to _______ (you fill in the blank).”

Listen to more music. Studies have shown that listening to music — almost anything you like, actually — can help reduce stress. Some say that playing music at work aids in increased productions while others prefer to use music to relax them after a long day. Regardless, music is soothing and is a good resolution to have. Resolution: “Play more music.”

New Year’s resolutions have long been intended to focus on self-improvement. That means that you exit the New Year as a better person than you came into it. It began back in the Babylonian era when the custom of setting such resolutions had moral intentions: Be good to others. Early Christians prepared for the coming year through prayer and self-resolutions all based on the concept to improve the self. Resolutions have come quite a long way since their original intent, and today, they are often superficial and more attention-getting than ever before.

Let’s get back to the New Year’s resolutions as they were meant to be: a positive, moral improvement of yourself and others. So, whatever you do as a resolution, do it for you, do it for your health and well-being. Be a better person next December than you are today!

Nina Bell, Ph.D., MPH, is a public health professor with Ashford University and works in health promotions for the Meadville Family YMCA. She is a co-author of the book “Community and Public Health,” published by Bridgepoint Education Inc. You can email her at

Text Only
Our Health
  • Don't let a desk job negatively impact your health

    If you’re female, you might want to consider a more physically active career to avoid a variety of cancers.

    July 21, 2014

  • Study focuses on cancer in those who apply pesticides

    This year marks the end of the Agricultural Health Study, a 20-year study of the effects of pesticides on farm workers and their families. Although the study focused on Iowa and North Carolina, there are still some elements that are important for Pennsylvania farmers as well as anyone who handles chemical compounds.

    June 30, 2014

  • Learn to swim and keep drowning at bay

    When you and your family hit the pool or the beach this summer, you need to be aware of a phenomenon known as secondary drowning, or dry drowning.

    June 16, 2014

  • ‘Planting’ the seeds of a better diet this summer

    Summertime is a great time to make improvements to your diet and lifestyle. Despite the conflicting “advice” you may get about diet when reading the popular press (not to mention all of the “food rules”), adding more plants to your diet is always a good idea.

    June 9, 2014

  • Is the idea of drinkable sunscreen worth swallowing?

    Tired of greasy, sticky hands after applying sunscreen? Even the spray-on sunscreens leave you inhaling fumes that you shouldn’t breathe. Well, enter a new era of skincare products: drinkable sunscreen.

    June 3, 2014

  • Survivor stories: Beating cancer with faith and family love

    I recently talked with Rebecca Arbuckle of Meadville to discuss her journey with breast cancer and how she was able to beat it with faith, strength and the love of her family. Although our conversation was upbeat and filled with confidence, there were times that emotion broke through, as it should, for having faced such a battle and won. I am in awe of the people I have had the chance to interview and am honored to share their stories.

    May 27, 2014

  • Uncovering the simple fix to the 'super bug'

    The World Health Organization has identified a serious threat to human health around the globe. Known as a “superbug,” this antimicrobial resistant bacterial infection has been coined “AMR” (Antimicrobial Resistance).

    May 19, 2014

  • Get educated about high blood pressure and eating better

    May is High Blood Pressure Education Month, and one in three Americans have it. High blood pressure (hypertension) is a leading risk factor for stroke. Hypertension is often referred to as the “silent killer” since you may feel no apparent symptoms. Yet, high blood pressure will cause damage to the blood vessels, brain and heart over time.

    May 13, 2014

  • Researchers: colon cleansing health benefits a myth

    Researchers have found that while colon cleansing has been around since ancient times, the health benefits are basically a myth.

    May 5, 2014

  • Prescription for Medical Nutrition Therapy

    Nutrition is a vital part of being well, and an even more important part to getting well (or healing). It’s a critical part of prevention, yet if I surveyed physicians or lay people, and asked them “Does diet therapy work?” chances are at least 70 percent of them would say “No.”

    April 21, 2014

Business Marquee
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide