STAYING FIT AND HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

With the holidays coming up, the highlight for many people during this season is gathering with family and friends and enjoying favorite holiday treats. Here are some tips that will help you enjoy your holidays to the fullest while not increasing your waistline.

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MAKING AND KEEPING NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

Only 8 percent of individuals achieved their resolutions in 2016, according to Statistic Brain. This is likely due to most people having unrealistic expectations about the speed, ease and consequences of the resolutions they make. People attempting self-change rarely succeed the first time; most need five or six attempts, according to a paper published in American Psychologist by Janet Polivy and Peter Herman. The authors suggest false hope syndrome is the cause for failure.

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HEALTHY HOLIDAY OPTIONS

The holidays are a wonderful time to gather with family and friends to celebrate. These celebrations often consist of many delicious treats and hardy meals. You can still maintain a healthy diet with a little thought and planning in advance. Research from a recent Web-based survey found 18 percent of people feel they cannot eat healthily during the holidays because they don’t want to miss out on their favorite foods. You can still eat the foods you enjoy this season, just in moderation.

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In order to have a healthy, bright smile, it is important to have regular dental exams and practice good dental hygiene. These are necessary for preventing gum disease and reducing the risk of tooth loss or dental problems. Proper dental hygiene not only is good for your teeth, but also has numerous other health benefits. Regular dental care isn’t expensive, but having a dental difficulty can become very expensive. That is why it is imperative to perform one of the main preventative actions: Brushing your teeth.


Some of the benefits of brushing your teeth include:


•  Reduced cost of dental care. Prevention is much less expensive than a cure. Brushing your teeth helps prevent cavities and other dental complications.

•  Prevention of gum disease. Regular brushing stimulates the gums, which keeps them healthy and thus prevents gum disease.

•  Reduced risk of heart disease and stroke. The American Journal of Medicine has connected dental health to risks of heart attack and stroke. Gum disease is one indicator of heart disease. Also, bad bacteria in the mouth can get into the bloodstream, which also increases your chances of having a heart attack or stroke.


Dentists recommend brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day,

THE BENEFITS OF BRUSHING YOUR TEETH

TANIQUA WARD, M.S.

TaNiqua Ward is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

more articles by taniqua ward

once in the morning and once in the evening. Select a toothpaste that contains fluoride, which helps prevent cavities. Other ingredients in toothpaste, such as abrasives and detergents, are used to remove stains and bacteria. Flossing helps get rid of plaque, particles and food between your teeth. Both of these habits are essential for dental health.


Select a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid doing any damage to the teeth and gums. Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gum line and begin brushing from the gum line to the chew surface. Brush your teeth softly with short strokes. Use the same method on the inside of your teeth as well.


Dentists usually recommend using unwaxed floss because it is thinner and easy to slide between the teeth. Carefully insert the floss between the teeth by using a back and forth motion to get it near the gums. Make a letter “C” shape around the edge of the tooth and glide it up and down. Do this same process on all your teeth and be sure to floss the back sides of your teeth as well.