CHICAGO — With the new year approaching, the American Medical Association (AMA) is offering recommendations to help Americans make healthy lifestyle choices in 2018. 

“As we begin to look ahead to the new year and make our new year’s resolutions, this is the perfect time for each of us to think about our personal health goals and resolve to make healthy lifestyle choices in the coming year,” said AMA President David O. Barbe, M.D. “To help people start the year off on the right foot, we’re offering ten health recommendations that will help them determine where they can make the most impactful, long-lasting improvements in their health.”

The AMA’s ten recommendations for a healthier new year, include the following:

  1. Limit your consumption of beverages with added sugar
  2. Learn your risk for type 2 diabetes—take the self-screening test at DoIHavePrediabetes.org 
  3. Be more physically active—every healthy adult 18 to 65 years of age needs at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity five days per week, or 20 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity three days a week
  4. Reduce your intake of processed food and added sodium
  5. Know your blood pressure numbers—visit LowerYourHBP.org to find resources on understanding your numbers and take necessary steps to get your high blood pressure—or hypertension—under control
  6. 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
  7. Talk with your doctor about tobacco and nicotine use and quit—also declare your home and car smoke free to eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke
  8. Manage Stress—a good diet and daily exercise are key ingredients to maintaining and improving your mental health, but don’t hesitate to ask for help from a friend or mental health professional when you need it
  9. Pain medication is personal—if you are taking prescription opioids, follow your doctor’s instructions, store them safely to prevent diversion or misuse, and properly dispose of any leftover medication
  10. Make sure your family is up-to-date on their vaccines

Improving the health of the nation is a top priority for the AMA. The AMA will continue to further our efforts aimed at reducing the burden of preventable diseases like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Our best wishes to all for a happy and healthy new year!

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About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.