Luckily, the American Medical Association (AMA) has some suggestions on which pledges pack the most punch.
Start by being more physically active. Adults should do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity activity, the AMA recommends.
“Many people kick off the start of each new year with big-picture health resolutions — ambitious, immediate lifestyle changes that are very difficult to maintain,” AMA president Dr. Jack Resneck Jr. said in an association news release. “The good news is that small, positive health choices made right now can have long-lasting effects.”
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Here are 10 more tips from the AMA:
- Manage your stress with a good diet, at least 7.5 hours of nightly sleep, daily exercise and wellness activities, such as yoga and meditation. Ask for help from a mental health professional when you need it.
- Eat fewer processed foods and sugar-sweetened beverages, especially those with added sodium and sugar. Eat less red meat and processed meats, replacing these with more plant-based foods, such as olive oil, nuts and seeds.
- Drink water in place of sugar-sweetened beverages. Even 100% fruit juices are associated with a higher all-cause mortality risk.
- Alcohol should be consumed only in moderation, with up to one drink per day for women and two for men.
- If you use tobacco or e-cigarettes, talk to your doctor about how to quit. Keep your home and car smoke-free to eliminate secondhand exposure.
- Get your vaccines. The whole family should be up to date on all of their vaccines, including the flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine.
- Stay up to date on screening. Millions of cases of breast, colon and prostate cancers may have been missed because of pandemic-related care disruptions.
- Know your blood pressure numbers. You can better understand what’s right for you by visiting ManageYourBP.org. Controlling high blood pressure will reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke.
- Also learn your risk for type 2 diabetes. You can do this with a two-minute online self-screening test at DoIHavePrediabetes.org. Lifestyle changes made now can help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
- If taking prescription opioids or other medications, follow your doctor’s instructions, store them safely to prevent diversion or misuse, and properly dispose of any leftover medication. Always take antibiotics exactly as prescribed.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tips for living a heart healthy lifestyle.
SOURCE: American Medical Association, news release, Dec. 16, 2022