We've discussed dietary changes and workout routines to help jumpstart the ever-popular "This is the year I get in shape" New Year's resolution. While making those adjustments in your life are beyond important, even the slightest changes can be of ultimate benefit to you!

Blow the Smoke:

Unless you live under a huge rock or deep in a cave, you know smoking is terrible for you. In fact, smoking is the most preventable cause of death and disease in the developed world.

- Smoking tobacco is known to suppress the immune system. This may leave the smoker open to a wide variety of aliments, sicknesses and problems.

- Each cigarette smoked is estimated to rob smokers of 5 minutes and 30 seconds of life.

- One-third of all cancers are caused by tobacco use.

If those reasons alone aren't enough to get you to kick the habit, check out what smoking COSTS you:

- Cigarettes alone can cost $5,000+ a year for heavily-taxed smokers and heavy smokers

- Over $350 in related expenses every year (personal). Some smokers pay around $6,000+ a year in extra costs

- Your health, maybe even your life (smokers die 13 to 14 years sooner than nonsmokers)

- Heart attack, heart disease

- Cancer (lung, mouth, stomach, throat, cervix, kidney, pancreas, bladder, etc.)

- Leukemia, stroke, abdominal aortic aneurysm

- Sexual impotence and complicated pregnancy

- Emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma

- Cataracts, periodontitis, pneumonia

- Addiction and depression

- Alzheimer's, hearing loss, SIDS

- Sinusitis, nasal congestion

- 1-percent of auto accidents were related to smoking, according to a study on driver distractions sponsored by the AAA auto association


- 8.6 million Americans are sick from Tobacco-related Illnesses, CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (Vol. 52, No. 35: 842-844 and Vol. 52, No. 40: 953-956)

Alright so you still aren't convinced? Well think about your dry-cleaning bills to get the stench out of your clothes. Or how about the money spent on air and breath fresheners, dentist bills, teeth-whitening pastes, etc. Or how about having to find a smoker-friendly place to light up?

The kicking of this habit will not only make you feel better, but it will help you live longer.

If you want more information about kicking the habit, consult your local Quit Hotline or any of these sources:







...Among the thousand others.

Ditch the Bottle:

It's common for a lot of people to get off work and have a drink to wind down from a long day, whether it be a drink with friends at happy hour or in the privacy of your own home. And not that there's anything wrong with the occasional drink, it's just knowing when to put the can, bottle, or pint glass down that remains key.

Though when the definition of a "drink" is a 12-ounce bottle or can of regular beer, a five-ounce glass of dinner wine, or a shot of liquor or spirits (either straight or in a mixed drink, it gets tough to moderate.

When you add up the cost of drinking not to mention the toll it takes on your body when you binge, it's easier to keep it under control. Each year, alcohol abuse costs the United States an estimated $185 billion, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. But only $26 billion, 14% of the total, comes from direct medical costs or treating alcoholics. Almost half, a whopping $88 billion, comes from lost productivity--a combination of all those hangovers that keep us out of work on Monday mornings, as well as other alcohol-related diseases. People who drink too much and too often are at greater risk for diabetes and several kinds of cancer, according to some studies.

"Alcohol is a worthless drug that affects every single cell in your body," says Harris Stratyner, director of addiction recovery services at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Even hair transplants can fail because of the damage, he says.

Learning how to moderate this is tricky, but it can be done. Filling your evenings with the new workout routines we've discussed can help curb your drinking. And with a new diet in place, you may become more aware of your intake of alcohol with a new understanding of portion control.

Quitting smoking and cutting back on the booze are two crucial habitual changes that can lead you to live a healthier life.

Give it a try and see how you feel!