10 New Year's resolutions you can easily keep

Dec 11, 2009 at 4:25 p.m. ET

Do you get excited at the prospect of a New Year -- you know, the chance to commit to resolutions that will make you slimmer, fitter, and the energetic, non-stressed envy of your friends? Does that enthused approach to healthy living wane after only a few days of 60-minute workouts and stringent dieting? It doesn't have to be that way. You truly can make -- and keep -- New Year's resolutions that easily satisfy your healthy lifestyle desires. Not only are we going to share 10 can-keep health commitments, we're also giving you the resources that will keep you on track.

1. Eat foods that won't kill you

This is where you decide the best way for you to keep your New Year's diet resolutions. Healthy foods won't pollute your body with chemicals, preservatives, bad fats or a glut of calories. This means you have many options for keeping your healthy eating on target. You can choose to include more organic foods, particularly produce, dairy and meat; become a flexitarian and reduce your intake of hormone- and saturated fat-laden animal products; or eliminate most of the packaged, processed junk from your daily diet. Small steps will make a big difference, and they are much easier to adopt as a habit rather than drastically revamping your entire approach to eating. A great start is by simply joining a local CSA. Find one near you at http://www.localharvest.org/.

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Eat foods that won't kill you

2. Get off your butt

Instead of resolving to exercise 60 minutes every day from January 1 until eternity (which will more accurately be January 8), simply commit to replacing some of your couch time with physical activity. In fact, you can multi-task and make the most of your channel surfing by slipping in exercises while your favorite shows are on commercial break. Purchase a pair of dumbbells or be hip and join the fitness enthusiasts who swear by kettlebells. Sarah Lurie's GoFit Kettlebells feature an oversized, powder-coated handle that makes them user friendly, less slippery, and easier to transition from hand to hand. The biggest advantage of kettlebells is, when used properly, they can whip you in shape in half the time of conventional gym equipment…all the more reason to keep a kettlebell or two next to the remote.

If you're feeling more fitness-enthused: Top 10 best workouts

Get off your butt

3. Stay hydrated

You know staying well-hydrated is good for you, but drinking a half-gallon of plain water a day is, well, plain. Aside from squeezing lemon into your glass, you can always choose from a wide variety of flavored waters. A favorite of celebs such as Fergie, Kirsten Bell, Nicollette Sheridan, and Anna Kournikova, Skinny Water is a flavorful drink that contains no calories, sugar, sodium, preservatives or artificial colors, and is sweetened with only a dash of Splenda. With six juicy flavors to choose from, Skinny Water is fortified with a unique combination of electrolytes (calcium and potassium) to promote hydration and nutrient-absorption along with EGCG, an extract of green tea, for healthy weight maintenance. We're not suggesting you drink a half-gallon of Skinny Water (or any flavored water, for that matter), but using it to replace some of your plain water quota will make your daily hydration a little more exciting.

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Stay hydrated

4. Rack up the Z's

Women are notoriously short on sleep. If it isn't because there simply aren't enough hours in the day, it is due to hormones or physical changes, such as pregnancy. Snoring can also be an impediment to sound slumber -- whether it be pregnancy or weight-induced or related to structural causes in the nose and throat. To help you outsmart snoring and rack up the Z's you deserve, a new breathing aid called Brez can be your sound-sleep solution. Brez fits comfortably in your nasal passages, gently lifting and expanding your nostrils, providing support to the interior walls of the nasal passages and reducing the vibrations during breathing that cause snoring. Unlike similar products that are worn outside the nose, Brez won't irritate skin or cause sores and acne. (Even if you don't snore, consider this a must-get if your partner saws logs all night long.) Hours of restful slumber may only be a Brez away.

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Rack up the Z's

5. Breathe

Sounds simple enough, right? But for most people, breathing is an underappreciated bodily function. Not only is it required for basic survival, it also plays a crucial role in fueling your muscles for activity, keeping your brain sharp, and eliminating stress, tension and toxins from your body. Basic shallow breathing will get you through your day, but intentional deep breathing will not only make you feel more alive, it will improve your health. Tim Kelly and JoAnne D'Ambrosio's 60-minute DVD Zenhaling: The Art of Breathing will teach you how to use breathwork (which even includes laughter) to connect your mind and body, reduce anxiety, and boost your lung power. Once you learn the importance of deep breathing, you'll find it quite advantageous to incorporate more of it in your every day.

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6. Seek alternatives

Seeing your health care providers on a regular basis shouldn't be a New Year's resolution, it should be a well-established part of your lifestyle. So many medical conditions, dental problems and even injuries can be prevented with regular check ups. To take it a step further, make this the year you take a more holistic approach to your health by including complementary and alternative modalities, such as meditation, acupuncture, massage or herbalism. Alternative therapies can augment conventional treatments and, if nothing else, reduce stress, and help keep you centered while you are undergoing medical care. To learn more about holistic care, visit the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at http://nccam.nih.gov/. This New Year's resolution is especially easy to keep, especially when you realize it is encouraging you to take time out of your busy life and take care of you. (Monthly massage, anyone?)

Benefits of complementary and alternative medicine

Seek alternatives

7. Feed your fertility (and overall health)

It's common knowledge that diet and exercise have profound effects on your health, but they can also affect your ability to get pregnant. Supported by long-term research, The Fertility Diet: Groundbreaking Research Reveals Natural Ways to Boost Ovulation and Improve your Chances of Getting Pregnant, describes how 10 simple changes in your lifestyle can significantly improve your chances to conceive (some of these changes -- such as eating nuts and ice cream -- may surprise you). Authors Dr Jorge Chavarro, Dr Walter C Willett, and Patrick J Skerrett give you the steps you need to not only set the stage for a healthy pregnancy, but to also lay the foundation for a diet that will serve you well for the rest of your life. The Fertility Diet also offers a week's worth of meal plans along with fertility-boosting recipes.

Feed your fertility (and overall health)

A helpful app: Keep track of your fertility with your iPhone

8. Better your bones

Your bone health should be a top of mind priority regardless of your age. And if swallowing calcium horse pills isn't for you, The Whole-Food Guide to Strong Bones: A Holistic Approach is a must-read. Author Annemarie Colbin, a maverick nutritional theorist and health educator, gives you a complete lifestyle program that includes the best foods for boosting bone strength, foods to avoid, reasons you need to be exercising, tips to find personal balance, and vital information on hormone replacement therapy and medications that effect bone health. In addition, Colbin provides 85 easy recipes that maximize the bone-building effects of whole foods, which prove maintaining strong bones can also be a delicious endeavor.

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Better your bones

9. Care for your skin and look your best

Putting on your prettiest face can go beyond spackling on moisturizer and foundation. New advances in skin care have launched a number of medical makeup lines, such as Cover FX, that actually heal the skin and improve its appearance. The only prestige line completely dedicated to creating a flawless complexion while treating a wide range of skin conditions, from vitiligo and rosacea to burns and scars, Cover FX is formulated with high-grade mineral pigments, key vitamins, hyaluronic acid and ceramides. With products ranging from the BritePrep FX Brightening Foundation Primer, an SPF 50 primer that stops and reverses UV damage, to the MintGlaze FX Fortifying Lip Treat-Mint Primer, a protecting balm that continuously hydrates the lips, you can care for your skin and look beautiful.

8 More tips for healthy skin

Care for your skin and look your best

10. Protect yourself in the bedroom

Safe sex is a no-brainer when it comes to preventing STDs and pregnancy , but what if you are allergic to the latex in condoms or simply want a condom that is also eco-friendly? Offering the first new condom material introduced to the market since non-latex polyurethane condoms became available in the 1990s, LifeStyles SKYN Condoms are made from a synthetic non-latex material called polyisoprene, which has the strength of latex but the sensitivity of an ultra-thin condom. Lifestyles also has a Natural Desire Lubricant, made of 99 percent natural ingredients, that is paraben- and fragrance-free, pH balanced, and latex compatible (if you aren't using the SKYN condoms). With SKYN and Natural Desire Lubricant, you can practice safe sex, have good sex, and be kind to the environment.

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Protect yourself in the bedroom

Even if you embrace one or two of these easy to follow New Year's resolutions then revisit one new resolution a month, you'll be contributing to your healthy lifestyle and keeping your January 1 resolutions alive until the next New Year comes around.