Top tips for a healthier 2012

WASHINGTON — A look at some of the top health tips in 2011 may provide the necessary edge for those seeking a healthier lifestyle to keep up with their new year resolutions.

Prevention Magazine put together a list of the best lessons they learned regarding health last year, and dredged up some information that would surprise area commuters: That trip could damage your skin.

Not only can the sun hurt your skin while you’re driving, the magazine says, but highway air is also a toxin. A study shows that women exposed to high concentrations of exhaust had 20 percent more age spots, according to the magazine. Prevention recommends women with long commutes and those who live near traffic should use lotion with melanin inhibiting ingredients, such as licorice root extract, to combat the effects.

Another shocker: Fat-free products are overrated. A certain amount of fat is integral to any diet, even to those watching their weight, Prevention says. In fact, fat should make up 20 to 35 percent of your calories. When it comes to fat, the important thing to watch is the kind of fat. Saturated fats are bad, so limit them. Monounsaturated fats are good, and they’re found in healthy oils from olives, nuts and avocados.

Strength training is king. In fact, it’s so important in your fitness regimen, it’s considered more important than what you eat.

Now that you’ve changed your skin lotion, changed your diet and added weights to your workout routine, it’s time to think about what to do when a health problem slows you down. If you require surgery, don’t schedule it in July, Prevention says. There is a 10 percent increase in fatalities at teaching hospitals during the seventh month of the year. One study suggests the phenomenon could happen because July is when new doctors in training start their residencies.

Read Prevention’s full list of health tips.

WTOP’s Veroncia Robinson contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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