For those still open to adding to their list of New Year’s resolutions, the American Medical Association (AMA) is offering its top 10 healthy suggestions.
First, Americans should make an effort to cut back on sugary drinks, medical experts advise. Diabetes screening is also a good proactive step as the new year unfolds. The AMA suggests trying an online tool — a self-screening website — to help you do just that. Go to DoIHavePrediabetes.org.
Increasing physical activity is another good idea, based on the notion that all adults aged 18 to 65 should rack up at least a half-hour of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise five days a week. Or, as an alternative, you can try 20 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise three times a week.
Cutting down on salt (sodium) and processed foods is another positive step, according to the AMA. So is being clear about your current blood pressure status. The organization suggests the website LowerYourHBP.org as a good place for more information.
Americans should also try to drink in moderation this year, the association advises. That means no more than one drink a day for adult women and two drinks a day for adult men.
The AMA also strongly advocates kicking the habit for those who still smoke, and taking steps to control stress, perhaps by seeking out professional mental health assistance.
Controlling pain medication intake is also critical, the group noted. This can help prevent addiction and prevent misuse by people for whom such drugs weren’t prescribed or intended.
Lastly, the AMA reminds Americans to make sure that they and their family are up-to-date on vaccinations. Guidelines can be found on the website of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov/vaccines).
The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more on New Year’s resolutions.