The New Year is always the perfect time to hit restart on healthy habits after the holiday season. Feeling uninspired coming up with some New Year’s resolutions this year? Don’t worry—these experts are here to help. The American Medical Association (AMA) has some healthy New Year’s resolutions to help your whole family grow healthier in 2019.

“This is the perfect time of year for each of us to consider our personal goals, and how we can make positive health choices in the coming year,” AMA President Barbara L. McAneny, M.D., said in a statement. “We encourage everyone to prioritize their long-term health by making small lifestyle changes now that can have a lasting effect in improving their health.”

photo: Burst via Pexels

The most challenging part about New Year’s resolutions is keeping them. It’s easy to simply say you want to be healthier, but what does that really mean? This handy list of health recommendations from the AMA is the perfect place to start with specific actions for your whole family.

1. Learn your risk for type 2 diabetes.

The AMA suggests taking the self-screening test at DoIHavePrediabetes.org.

2. Get more physically active.

According to the latest guidelines adults should do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity, or 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity activity. Kids six and up should be getting at least one hour a day, while those ages three to five need three hours daily.

3. Know your blood pressure numbers.

The AMA suggests visiting LowerYourHBP.org to better understand your blood pressure level and how to get it under control if it’s too high.

4. Reduce your intake of processed foods.

Take it easy with the added sodium and sugar. You should also reduce your in-take of sugar-sweetened beverages (this includes juices) and drink more water instead.

5. If a health care professional determines that you need antibiotics, take them exactly as prescribed.

The AMA states that “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.”

6. Slow down on the alcohol.

If consuming alcohol, do so in moderation as defined by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This means up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men, according to the guidelines.

7. Stop smoking—and definitely don’t start.

Talk with your doctor about tobacco and nicotine use and quit. Make your home and car smoke-free to eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke for kids and other family members.

8. Pain medication is personal.

If you are taking prescription opioids, always follow your doctor’s instructions. Store them safely to prevent diversion or misuse and properly dispose of any leftover medication—this is especially important with kids in the house. Always keep the Poison Control number handy in case of accidental ingestion.

9. Make sure your family is up-to-date on their vaccines.

This includes getting the annual influenza vaccine for everyone age six months or older. It’s not too late to get one for this flu season.

10. Manage stress.

Don’t hesitate to ask for help from a friend or mental health professional when you need it, especially after becoming a new mom. Perinatal depression affects 15 to 20 percent of new moms so you are not alone.

Here’s to a healthy New Year for you and your fam.

—Shahrzad Warkentin

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