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The Way to a Healthier 2014

Want 2014 to be the healthiest year ever? You can make a few small changes that will lower your blood pressure, boost your immune system and just help you feel good inside. And you don't even have to go to a gym.
Want 2014 to be the healthiest year ever?  You can make a few small changes that will lower your blood pressure, boost your immune system and just help you feel good inside. And you don't even have to go to a gym.

Is 2014 the year you're going to improve the way you feel?

Physicians say it really doesn't take much.

Try these.

Laugh- doctors at the University of Maryland found when people laughed their blood vessels expanded, causing healthy blood flow.

"There is some evidence that laughter can drop your blood press, reduce your stress hormone, and by doing so, prevent immune disease and even prolong your life," explains Dr. Assil Saleh, internist.

Get a pet.  Researchers say pets ward off mental illness and help cut down our stress.

And some animals are better than a treadmill.  A University of MIssouri-Columbia study found when Obese and sedentary people were given a dog, they lost an average of 14 pounds a year, without dieting.

"Pets in general provide emotional support.  You can give them love, you receive....it's mutually beneficial," says Dr. Saleh.

Move. No, that doesn't mean run a marathon. The centers for disease control says 30 minutes of light exercise, 5 times a week, can fight diabetes, back pain, heart problems, even cancer and help you feel younger.

And get some shut eye. - the national heart lung and blood institute says a good night's sleep can fight off infection, help your memory, and regulate your sugar levels. Sleep experts say not enough sleep can raise your blood pressure, and lead to obesity as well as diabetes.

All good tips or a happy, healthy new year. 


(Carl Azuz for CNN's Health Minute)



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