Resolve to have a healthy New Year with tips from USC

December 20, 2018

New Year’s resolutions are tough to keep for a variety of reasons. Despite our good intentions, most Americans don’t stick with resolutions to lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier foods, get more sleep and of course, quit smoking.

USC experts are ready with tips for the resolution-weary and the optimistic newcomers to this annual tradition.

Contact: Jenesse Miller (213) 810-8554 or

E-cigarettes not a proven method for smokers trying to quit

“So far, there is no conclusive evidence that e-cigarettes are effective for smoking cessation. There is also increasing evidence that the chemicals in e-cigarette vapor are dangerous.

“There are several treatments that have been proven effective for smoking cessation, such as combinations of nicotine replacement therapy and counseling. People who want to quit should use methods that have been proven effective in large-scale clinical trials.”

Jennifer Unger is a professor of preventive medicine in the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

Contact: (323) 442-8234 or

The gym isn’t the only place/way to get fit

“If in the past joining a gym did not work, perhaps this time a fun outdoor activity like hiking or running, a spin or yoga class would be better. The key is to make it fun and engaging.

“I see some of the best results from patients who join a team and compete with others in obstacles races and runs. They train together, help each other through injuries, develop great friendships due to similar goals, and have short-term goals to succeed at the upcoming course.”

Carolyn Kaloostian is a clinical assistant professor of family medicine and geriatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. See more of her fitness and diet tips at USC News.

Contact: (626) 568-1622 or

Tips for better shut-eye, starting with your smart phone

We need to give our minds a break to let ourselves float peacefully into sleep,” says Jennifer Ailshire, assistant professor of gerontology and sociology at the USC Leonard Davis School. Her tips:

  • Yoga, meditation and puzzles like Sudoku can relax the mind.
  • Don’t read social media right before bedtime, and don’t use devices (e.g.: smartphones and tablets) in bed.
  • Experiment with bedtimes. Try going to bed a little earlier and see if you can find the ideal time when you are more primed to fall sleep.
  • Evaluate your environment: Is your bedroom the right temperature? Are there any lights or distracting sounds?

Ailshire says people who have more serious sleep issues should consult a physician. She recently published a study in the journal Sleep about the growing numbers of Americans experiencing poorer sleep.

Contact: (213) 740-7245 or