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Biomedical Engineering

The Biomedical Engineering blog is the place for conversation and discussion about topics related to engineering principles of the medical field. Here, you'll find everything from discussions about emerging medical technologies to advances in medical research. The blog's owner, Chelsey H, is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) with a degree in Biomedical Engineering.

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New Year New Habits

Posted December 23, 2015 12:00 AM by Chelsey H

As the end of 2015 approaches the obligatory New Year's resolutions start to be written down, taped by the mirror, and shared with accountability buddies. The most popular New Year's resolutions tend to be health related and involve heading to the gym X number of days a week, or eating a salad every day or giving up candy. But what many people may not consider is that the worst things for your health you may not even consider unhealthy. As you list your goals consider changing your habits on these three terrible things you do to your body every day.

  • Getting Stressed Out: Stress is an important physiological response to the dangers of the world. It kept our ancestors from being attacked by wild animals and gave them the energy to run after prey. It's less helpful in an office job. A 2013 survey by the American Psychological Association found that 45% of adults felt that their stress levels had increased over the last five years. Chronic stress can have major, long-term effects on your health such as muscle tension, pain, increase heart rate and blood pressure, increased risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, as well as a host of problems in the gastrointestinal system. In 2016, make sure that you relax a little bit each day; laugh, hang out with your pet, get some vitamin C, or go for a walk outside to help you beat the stress.
  • No "Sleep Hygiene": Now, while you should wash yourself and your sheets regularly, sleep hygiene is about the activities that contribute to better sleep quality. Many people fail to prioritize sleep and end up with fewer hours than they need to feel rested and productive. To have good sleep hygiene avoid stimulants like caffeine and alcohol in the evenings, establish a regular bedtime, keep your room dark, cool, and free of distractions. Avoiding electronic devices is also a good practice before bed. If you have trouble falling asleep here are some techniques you can try: take a warm shower before bed (also good for personal hygiene), scent your bedroom with lavender, practice progressive relaxation, or visualize your favorite place.
  • Eating Packaged Foods: It's 3 PM and you make your daily commute to the vending machine for a bag of chips. Or maybe you're feeling healthy so you grab a granola bar instead. Packaged foods are so convenient but they can be loaded with trans fats, high-fructose corn syrup, salt, and all kinds of preservatives and additives. All of these are shown to have negative health impacts including known carcinogens, obesity, diabetes, and headaches. To avoid adding chemicals to your body opt for homemade and natural snacks. Homemade granola is a delicious healthy treat, oil and vinegar is good as salad dressing, and fruit makes an energizing snack instead of chips.

With everyone focusing on big goals and full diet overhauls, it's important to remember that our day-to-day actions have an enormous impact on our overall health. In addition to exercising more and making healthy choices, make sure that you're taking time to relax, get enough sleep, and choose natural snacks to ensure you have an awesome 2016!

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Guru

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#1

Re: New Year New Habits

12/23/2015 9:46 AM

I solved the problem last year. I resolved to make no more resolutions.

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Power-User

Join Date: Nov 2015
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#2

Re: New Year New Habits

12/23/2015 10:35 AM

Hope the year ends without no big current events.

Happy New year CR4.

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Guru

Join Date: Oct 2008
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#3

Re: New Year New Habits

12/23/2015 4:32 PM

Getting Stressed Out: I'm a carrier.

No "Sleep Hygiene": I resolve to not coin any dumb new words in 2016. My bedroom has plenty of scent already.

Eating Packaged Foods: Eating no more packaged foods. (Than I did this year)

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