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Be more physically active

Nearly three weeks into the new year, how are you doing with your new year’s resolutions?

Did you set some goals to adopt a healthier lifestyle in 2023?

According to պ’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bob Frank, new year’s resolutions are easy to make, harder to keep.

“We need to remember to take care of ourselves first,” he said. “We can often succeed by taking small steps, rather than setting big, ambitious goals that are hard to reach.”

The American Medical Association offers the following 10 recommendations for a healthier new year.

1. Be 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.

2. Make sure your family is up-to-date on their vaccines—including the annual influenza vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine for everyone age six months or older. Speak with your physician about your eligibility for a bivalent booster. Anyone with questions about the COVID-19 vaccines should speak with their physician and review trusted resources, including . Following evidence-based public health measures, such as physical distancing and wearing face masks, are also an important way to help protect against COVID-19 and the flu.

3. Get screened—Estimates based on statistical models show that since April 2020, millions of screenings for breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer diagnoses may have been missed due to pandemic-related care disruptions. Check with your physician to find out if you’re due for preventive care, tests or screenings, and make an appointment. These measures are designed to keep you healthy and help your doctor spot certain conditions before they become more serious.

4. Know your blood pressure numbers—Vto better understand your numbers and take necessary steps to get high blood pressure — also known as hypertension — under control. Doing so will reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke.

5. Learn your risk for type 2 diabetes—Take a simple online 2-minute self-screening test at . Steps you take now can help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes, which is a risk factor for severe COVID-19 outcomes, including hospitalization or death.

6. Manage stress—A good diet, sufficient sleep (at least 7.5 hours per night), daily exercise and wellness activities, such as yoga and meditation, are key ingredients to maintaining and improving your mental health, but don’t hesitate to ask for help from a mental health professional when you need it.

7. Reduce your intake of processed foods and sugar-sweetened beverages, especially those with added sodium and sugar—Eat less red meat and processed meats, and add more plant-based foods, such as olive oil, nuts and seeds to your diet. Also reduce your consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and drink more water instead. Drinking sugary beverages, even 100% fruit juices, is associated with a higher all-cause mortality risk, according to a published in JAMA Network Open.

8. If consuming alcohol, do so in moderation as defined by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans—up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men, and only by adults of legal drinking age.

9. Talk with your doctor about tobacco and e-cigarette use (or vaping) and how to quit—Declare your home and car smoke- and aerosol-free to eliminate secondhand exposure.

10. Follow your physician’s instructions if prescribed pain medication or antibiotics— If you are 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. If a health care professional determines that you need antibiotics, take them exactly as prescribed—antibiotic resistance is a serious public health problem and antibiotics will not make you feel better if you have a virus, such as a cold or flu.

Jan. 18, 2023