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The laws for maintaining good health run the gamut from the obvious to the revealing. Here is our New Year's wish to you for good health with 10 common and not-so-common sensible rules for staying healthy and happy in 2012.
Here are ten New Year's resolutions for better health that you can actually keep, and that may pay dividends in vitality and enjoyment of life throughout 2012 and beyond.

1. Don't stuff yourself. Ever.

We all know that it's never a good idea to fill your stomach to its brim with candy, cookies, cake, and pie, and that it is more than just bad manners to take a chair and sit down at a buffet table. But did you also know that it is harmful to your health to fill up on bran, carrot sticks, or salad?

Both the stomach and the small intestine (the part of the intestines into which the stomach empties) are lined with stretch receptors. When you eat a large amount of food, the stomach and small intestine send signals to the medulla oblongata of the brain and the brain then sends a signal to your pancreas to release insulin. This enables your body to keep your blood sugar levels normal just in case you consumed a large amount of high-carbohydrate foods. The pancreas also releases a hormone called glucagon, which causes your liver to release sugar from its stores of glycogen just in case the food you are eating is not high in sugar or quickly digestible carbohydrate.

Insulin does not just store sugar. It also stores fat. Stuffing yourself primes your fat cells to store every last additional calorie even more quickly than usual.

And if you are diabetic, your body won't respond to the insulin (lowering blood sugar levels) but it will respond to the glucagon (raising blood sugar levels). Diabetics can send their blood sugar levels soaring even when they fill up on vegetables or "free" foods. Pre-diabetics and their doctors may not notice the fluctuations in their blood sugar levels, but they probably will notice high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and weight gain.

2. Get at least six to seven hours of sleep each and every night.

Whether you are trying to lose weight or gain muscle, reaching your goals is easier with the help of growth hormone. Your brain releases growth hormone either when you are fasting or when you are asleep. Getting at least six to seven hours of uninterrupted sleep every night is essential for weight management and maintaining your muscle mass.

3. Wash your hands frequently.

Every year health authorities warn people that they must get flu shots and health pundits warn people that flu shots have side effects. If you aren't going to take an immunization for influenza, the next best thing to do is to wash your hands regularly.

A study at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Beijing found that washing hands four times per day lowered the rates of transmission of influenza from one sick family members to others in the same household by 79%.  (Taking a flu shot lowered the rates of catching flu by 95%.)  A  German firm found that making hand sanitizers available to employees lowered work days lost to diarrhea ("stomach flu") by 11%, colds by 20%, and other infections by 30%.

4. Banish clutter from your home.

The A&E television series Hoarders gives viewers insights into the devastating effects of a psychological disease that compels people to acquire goods and never throw anything into the trash, compulsive hoarding. Very few of us are compulsive hoarders.

Many of us, however, have our lives filled various kinds of clutter. Simply getting rid of clutter can add hours to your day and years to your life—because you won't have to spend precious energy tracking down things and information.

5. Don't just drink water. Hydrate.

Everybody has heard the advice to drink eight glasses of water every day (even though the scientific evidence is that most people need about five). But do you keep your skin hydrated?

Dry skin cracks. These tiny cracks can become infected. Using moisturizer every day, especially during winter and summer, may prevent skin infections that blemish your complexion, or, on the legs and feet, even put your life at risk.

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