Advice for a healthy 2013

Melody Ng
Public Insight Network

Even when my grandmother was in her 90s, she exercised.  She could no longer carry groceries home from the Lucky Supermarket down the hill.  She could no longer climb flights of steps like she did when we visited the Sun Yat-sen Memorial together in Nanjing, China, back in 1995 — when she was 81. And she never went swimming in the pool at her Montebello, Calif., apartment building, as far as I know.

But she walked. She did laps around her tiny kitchen, pushing her walker along the vinyl floor. Dozens of laps each day. I loved watching her and the exercise regimen she’d created for herself to stay healthy.

Jonathan Rozenbergs, who lives in MInneapolis, says trading in sandwiches for salads at lunchtime has had a significant impact on improving his health. (Photo by AFP/Getty Images)

Everyone can do one thing, make one change, to be healthier. Sometimes you just need some inspiration. And what better time for a little kick in the pants than right now as we’re thick into resolution-writing for the new year?

So we asked people in our Public Insight Network: What’s one change you made to improve your health in 2012?

Many people wrote to us about changing their diets. Urban design research assistant Jonathan Rozenbergs of Minneapolis, for example, ditched the sandwiches and now eats salad for lunch: “I went to a biometric health screening and learned that my blood pressure was getting high and my good cholesterol was low. The literature provided by the clinic nurses and a film I had recently watched called ‘Forks Over Knives’ both confirmed that way too much salt, protein, dairy and sliced bread are major factors impacting weight and cardiovascular health.

“We were already cooking quite healthily at home for dinner, so the biggest change to make was in my lunch. … Switching to a salad for lunch made it much easier to control how much sodium, sugar, and saturated fat I was consuming.”  He says he’s now in better cardiovascular health, he’s lost weight, and he’s lowered the grocery bills by not buying so many processed lunch products.

People also sent us tidbits of advice:  “Make a change in the morning, because it is the time of the day when you have the most willpower,” suggested Molly White, a graduate student in Durham, N.C.

Keep reading for more health tips that you can put to action in 2013.




Melody Ng Analyst
Public Insight Network

As a Public Insight analyst, Melody Ng's job is all about finding out what people know, and then putting their experience and expertise to work making great news stories. She's particularly interested in getting diverse perspectives and voices into the news. So if you don’t hear people who think or sound like you in the news, then: Tell us what you know here. And come on into our newsroom!

Melody got into journalism through an internship with documentary unit American RadioWorks when looking for a different way to use the skills she had learned through doing science.