HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

SIX NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH WITHOUT LEAVING THE HOUSE  (Excerpt from Lifestrong.com Newsletter 12/30/22)

This year, instead of busting out of the gate with lofty goals, start with small, bite-sized habits that can make you feel a whole lot better.

These six resolutions are easy to accomplish, low-commitment and you can do them right in your own home.

1. Stand Up Every Hour – If you find yourself spending a lot of time sitting, set an alarm on your phone to get up from wherever you are sitting.   Getting up and moving every hour improves circulation, metabolism and energy levels, and combats lethargy.

2. Cook One Meal Each Day – Considering there are countless food delivery platforms promising cheaper and cheaper fees, the temptation for takeout is real. But cooking even just one meal a day is a great habit to build.​

3. Cut Your Screen Time by 10 Minutes a Day – Completely cutting out technology or social media is pretty unrealistic, and frankly, not necessary. But trimming down your non-work-related scrolling is totally doable.

Too much screen time can lead to poor eyesight, a disruption in your circadian rhythm (due to the blue light), neck and back pain or headache. Making a resolution to reduce it can create time for other activities and opportunities that may not only be healthier but also more fulfilling in the long run.

4. Stretch Every Day – Many people tend to skip out on flexibility and mobility exercises. This year, pick one mobility problem area — common trouble spots include the hips, shoulders, knees, ankles or back — to work on each week.

Start by doing your mobility move or stretch for one minute each day. Over time, build up to performing your exercises for a minute at the top of each hour.

5. Have One Less Glass of Wine – After a long day, a glass of wine can help you unwind and clear your head. One glass probably won’t do much harm, but alcohol can hurt your sleep and recovery, which is the last thing you want after a busy, stressful day.

Being mindful of how many days each week you drink can be a healthy resolution. Start by meeting yourself where you are: If you’re drinking five days a week, maybe you start by cutting back to four. Or, if you tend to have two drinks twice a week, cut one of those days by one glass.

6. Drink One More Glass of Water – On days that feel never-ending, hydration drops low on the priority list. But drinking more water is an easy habit to adopt and will make you feel a whole lot better.

To increase your daily water intake, set yourself up for success. Ditch single-use plastic and buy a large reusable water bottle to carry around the house. If the thought of guzzling plain water all day isn’t appealing, add some flavor. Toss a cucumber or lemon slice into your water to add some refreshment.

The foods you eat can increase your daily hydration, too, she adds. Water-rich foods like watermelon and soup will increase your daily intake, while giving you the opportunity to try new ingredients.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU WEAR OUTDOOR SHOES IN YOUR HOME (Excerpt from Lifestrong.com)

Even if you don’t step in actual dirt, your shoes pick up a lot of gunk when you’re walking outside. “Several studies have suggested that shoes are vectors for infectious diseases,” says Kishor Gangani, MD, MPH.  In other words? They’re total germ magnets.

We’re talking nasties like E. coli, which can cause stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. In a May 2008 study sponsored by the not-for-profit Cleaning Industry Research Institute (CIRI), 96 percent of participants had measurable levels of the bacteria on their shoes within two weeks. (And the shoes were brand-new at the study’s outset.)

Our shoes are also regularly bringing in the bacteria Clostridium difficile or C. diff. In fact, the bacteria is more likely to show up on shoe bottoms than on toilet seats, according to June 2014 findings published in the journal ‌Anaerobe.‌ C. diff can cause diarrhea or fever in healthy people, notes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In older adults or those with compromised immune system, a C. diff infection can be deadly.

And when you wear your bacteria-covered clodhoppers around your home, almost all of the microbes on your shoe soles come along for the ride. The CIRI study found that when people wore their street shoes inside, a whopping 90 to 99 percent of germs on the shoes were transferred to the floor tiles. From there, they might get picked up by a crawling baby or toddler, a pet or by objects that fall onto the floor. The germs can even end up on your own feet once you do finally take your shoes off.

Frequent cleaning might not make much difference either, since some of these microbes are tough to get rid of. “As Clostridium difficile spores are resistant to disinfection, the possibility of community household contamination is high,” Dr. Gangani says.

The Alternatives – You can corral the germs on your footwear by removing your shoes at the door and placing them in a dedicated bin or shoe rack. From there, it’s just a matter of deciding whether you want to go barefoot or wear shoes that are just for inside.

Going totally shoe-free at home is often the best bet.

“Being barefoot is great for overall foot health and helps to increase foot muscle strength, tissue tolerance and joint mobility,” says Alissa Kuizinas, DPM, a board-certified podiatrist. Try taking a gradual approach if walking around barefoot is uncomfortable because you’re not used to it. “Go for 15 to 30 minutes a day and work up from there,” she says.

If you have foot pain, flat feet, or ankle arthritis, consider having a pair of supportive slippers or shoes that stay in the house. Shoes should have flat, flexible soles, a wide toe box and low or minimal cushioning, Dr. Kuizinas says. “If you require a slipper, I would recommend a stiffer sole, possibly a forefoot rocker or toe spring, and some cushioning,” she adds.

Indoor shoes may also be safer for older adults, since non-skid soles can reduce the risk for falls, according to the National Institute on Aging. People with diabetes or neuropathy should always wear shoes indoors too, to avoid foot injuries that could become infected.

Bottomline: Dr. Gangani puts it pretty plainly: “Wearing outdoor shoes inside the house should be avoided.”