Seven Ways to Live Healthier in 2023, from Pennington Biomedical Scientists

February 22, 2023

Pennington Biomedical Research Center

Pennington Biomedical Research Center's experts share tips for healthier living.

– LSU Office of Communications & University Relations.

Committing to living healthier is consistently the most popular New Year’s resolution.

Who better to help us find ways to do that than the experts at Pennington Biomedical? We asked our scientists and researchers to give us their best advice for living healthy in 2023, and they delivered.

No. 1

Caregivers need to care for themselves. Put your “safety mask” on so you can better help others. This might mean negotiating for a flexible work schedule, finding apps and websites to streamline meal planning and grocery shopping, trying out in-home exercises you can do after the kids go to bed, or prioritizing downtime to spend with your partner, friends, or alone with a good book.

– Amanda Staiano, PhD, Director,
Pediatric Obesity & Health Behavior Laboratory

No. 2

Set small steps that you can achieve. Don’t set yourself up for failure.

– Eric Ravussin, PhD, Associate Executive Director for
Clinical Science

No. 3

Each one minute of moderate physical activity lengthens life by seven minutes. Physical activity is an efficient investment to improve health and self.

– Justin Brown, PhD, Director, Cancer Metabolism Program

No. 4

Set aside five minutes (or more) each day to focus on deep breathing and clearing your head.

For any health goal you have, focus on process, not results. Small steps can lead to big change over time.

Rest and recovery are key to our health and quality of life. Aside from sleep, are there places in the day to “rest in the margins?” For example, instead of scrolling social media or trying to fit one more task in your day, in between meetings, try to use the time to take a few deep breaths, take a short nature walk, or just sit quietly -- and rest and refocus your mind.

– Tiffany Stewart, PhD, Director, Behavior Technology Laboratory and Director,
Pennington Biomedical Diabetes Clinic

No. 5

Make sleep your priority.

– Prachi Singh, PhD, Director, Sleep and Cardiometabolic Health Lab

No. 6

To maintain physical activity habits, make sure you engage in activity that you truly enjoy!

– Robert Newton, PhD, Director, Physical Activity and
Ethnic Minority Health Laboratory

No. 7

A paper on which I was senior author in JAMA came to the following conclusion: Evidence now available links dietary patterns in adults that involved higher consumption of vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, whole grains, unsaturated vegetable oils, fish, and lean meat or poultry with a decreased risk of all-cause mortality. These healthy dietary patterns were also relatively low in red and processed meat, high-fat dairy, and refined carbohydrates or sweets. 

If you want to live a long, healthy life, stick to the good stuff outlined above.

– Steve Heymsfield, MD, Director, Pennington Biomedical’s
Body Composition & Metabolism Laboratory