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My Wellness Scorecard Identifies Achievable New Year's Resolutions

Online Tool Shows Consumers Need Healthy Guidance


WASHINGTON, D.C., DECEMBER 17, 2020 - It's no secret Americans have some unhealthy habits, but new information gathered from My Wellness Scorecard, a free, interactive online tool at www.lifesupplemented.org, highlights some unusual evidence that we're a nation of OhWELLs. Of the 3,000-plus site visitors who have taken the Scorecard since September, more than one-third do not have a regular exercise routine, less than half participate in any kind of stress relief exercise, nearly one-fifth consume three to five caffeinated beverages each day, and although a majority take a multivitamin, less than half take it daily.

With a new year around the corner, now is an ideal time for consumers to focus on fixing those habits. In fact, experts agree resolutions are more likely to stick when they are specific action items instead of vague or unrealistic aspirations. For instance, you're more likely to stick to a plan of eating an additional piece of fruit every day as opposed to cutting out all junk food. Reaching small goals is empowering and, with dedication and consistency, they can become habit within two months.

For detailed ideas to enhance your health, take My Wellness Scorecard to identify where you fall on the wellness scale (AlphaWELL, WELL, WannabeWELL or OhWELL) based on the three pillars of wellness: a healthy diet, vitamins and other supplements, and regular exercise. Personalized action items from physicians and fitness experts help improve your wellness through realistic goal setting. Articles and other information on the site can help keep you motivated through a healthy New Year. Below are some additional ideas and tips based on the bad habits monitored so far:

1. Exercise. Among other things, physical activity reduces the risk for chronic diseases, improves mood and promotes better sleep. It's ideal to squeeze in at least three to five thirty-minute sessions each week, but it's OK to start slow. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator can burn 15 calories per floor. Jumping jacks can get your heart rate up while you're watching television or waiting for your spouse to get out of the shower. Commit to small goals such as exercising 10 minutes every weekday; and when you're ready, you can add another 10 minutes.

2. Relax. Raising children, meeting deadlines at work and now dealing with the added stress of the economy means Americans are almost always frazzled. You may think you have no time to unwind, but chronic stress can increase blood pressure, suppress the immune system and accelerate signs of aging for starters. Yoga and meditation are two popular outlets: Start by designating five minutes each day to lie down and focus on deep breathing. Other options include taking a 15-minute walk after work to sort out thoughts and emotions from the day or trying a tai chi class.

3. Take your vitamins. Roughly three in 20 Americans eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables each day, and that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to bad nutrition habits. A multivitamin can't make up for a poor diet, but it can act as an inexpensive insurance policy to help feed your body the nutrients it needs. The majority of consumers agree, evidenced by the amount of people who take a multivitamin. But the key to maximum benefits is to take it regularly. Store your vitamins where you'll remember to take them each day -- with your breakfast cereals, on the kitchen table or next to your computer are good locations. Try to make it a habit to take a multivitamin at breakfast each day.

4. Pay attention to your caffeine intake. Sure, a cup or two of coffee can help jump start a hectic day, but too much caffeine may cause anxiety and insomnia. Not to mention, the short-term effects of caffeine usually end in an energy crash within hours. If you're worried about getting too much of this stimulus, consider replacing one caffeinated beverage per day with another liquid choice. If you miss the taste of coffee, opt for decaf on occasion. Staying hydrated with water can also be effective in fighting fatigue. And physical activity can provide many of the same energy-enhancing benefits of caffeine.

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