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Resolution: Health

January 01, 2013

New Year's brings a focus on healthy living. Have a goal to reach? Take Ohio State experts' advice.

Resolution: Health

Bernadette Melnyk's goal is making Ohio State the world's healthiest university.

Part of the chief wellness officer's mission? Helping Buckeyes achieve their personal health goals.

This year, Melynk encourages people to "make just one change" rather than try to tackle an overwhelming list of health challenges. Read her full essay, from the Ohio State Alumni Magazine. (Need a way to hold yourself accountable? Make a pledge through the Wexner Medical Center.)

Thinking about making a change in 2013? Here are five resolutions--and ways Ohio State can help you achieve your goal.

Trash your negativity: If you want to get rid of unwanted, negative thoughts, try just ripping them up and tossing them in the trash. Ohio State researchers admit it sounds silly--but they say it works. (What else affects positive attitude? Surprisingly, posture and nodding or shaking your head.)

Eat mindfully: Stressed at the thought of monitoring fat intake and counting calories? Try eating mindfully--responding to your body's physical cues of hunger and fullness. Ohio State researchers have found that mindful eating is just as good as a more traditional, education-based approach, in helping diabetic patients lose weight and moderate blood sugar.

Rev up the workday: Fitting fitness into the workday--often dominated by sitting in front of a computer screen--is a challenge. At Ohio State, staffers are testing out standing desks and learning how to hold walking meetings.

Be a good friend: Social butterflies aren't just having fun; they're being healthy, too. A growing body of Ohio State research suggests that good relationships are an important part of physical health. A new finding: Social contact may be able to ease pain related to nerve damage. Older research suggests social interaction also has a positive impact on wound-healing and recovery from strokes and heart attacks.

Get fit, help find cures: Whether you're a serious athlete or a couch potato in transition, Ohio State has a 2013 challenge for you. Beginners and dedicated cyclists can register to ride in the fifth Pelotonia ride starting Jan. 8; every cent goes to Ohio State cancer research. Triathletes can get involved through the Ross Tri Fit Challenge, benefitting heart disease research at Ohio State's Ross Heart Hospital.