The calendar on 2011 is in the recycle bin. It’s now 2012. We’re three days in and can you believe it? Another New Year?! It’s also time for resolutions – many which are too out there that we never follow. Officials all across the country and here in Ocean County urge everyone to live 2012 healthier and in turn, you’ll be happier.

Maybe you ate a little too much at the holidays, or every day last year. Want to quit smoking? You probably should. The Ocean County Health Department says it’s time to get back in shape, cut the unhealthy habits and know your body better. It seems like a simple thing but the hustle and bustle of daily life can sometimes interfere with the process. There are plenty of ways you can make yourself feel better both physically, mentally and extend your life.

Health Department Spokesperson Leslie Terjesen says being prepared and making small changes can make a major difference on your functions. She explains “there’s a variety of health screenings and tests everyone should get. You can’t be ignorant when it comes to your health and what’s happening with your system. You should be aware whether or not your diabetic, if you have high blood pressure, cholesterol levels and get plenty of sleep.”

Communication at the doctor’s office is the key to staying healthy all year round. Terjesen adds “you should feel 100 percent comfortable in talking to your physician. If you don’t then it’s time to find someone new.”

Health officials say you can prepare a list of your most burning questions for the doctor visit and be open to discussing any concerns you may have. During the year, the Health Department will provide various services and programs including educational, awareness, vaccination clinics, screenings and other good health-promoting events.

You can reach the Ocean County Health Department on the web and all of their valuable resources at