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TEN Resolutions for a Healthier YOU in 2013...and Beyond!

by Daniel C. Clinkenbeard, MD

1. Exercise. This is one resolution that could have the biggest impact on your health. Exercise helps you control or lose weight. Exercise can prevent heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, stroke and depression. You should target 30 minutes of exercise per day, most days of the week. If your goal is weight loss, you will need to increase exercise from 30 to 60 minutes per day.

2. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables. It is recommended to eat 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Grab an apple or a banana instead of a sugary or processed food snack.

3. Strength Training. The saying "use it or lose it" applies to your muscles. Maintaining your strength helps prevent falls and maintains your independent living. Strength training helps slow down the natural decline of muscle mass as we age. Target major muscle groups of the upper and lower body. The goal is to strength train each muscle group twice a week completing 1-3 sets with 10-15 repetitions for each muscle group.

4. Drink Water. Dehydration is the number one cause of fatigue. Approximately, sixty percent of your body's weight is water. Quench your thirst with water and limit intake of sugary drinks (which are full of empty calories).

5. Lose Weight. If your Body Mass Index (BMI) is over 30, you may be considered obese. A BMI between 26 and 30 is overweight. Losing 10 pounds has beneficial effects on your life. Set attainable goals and objectives.

6. Supplements. Take a calcium and vitamin D supplement. This is for good bone and overall health.

7. Stop Smoking. Smoking increases your chances for heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancers.

8. Cut Back on Alcohol. Excessive drinking increases chances for heart disease, hypertension, liver disease, obesity, and depression.

9. Check Cholesterol. Request cholesterol screening at age 35 (or sooner) if you have a history of diabetes or hypertension.

10. Schedule a Colon Cancer Screening. Age 50 is the recommended age to schedule a screening, unless a family member has been diagnosed with colon cancer. In those cases, recommendation is to 'subtract' 10 years of age from the age of the family memeber's diagnosis (ex: 55 yrs old - 10 years = 45 yrs. old) and begin screening at that age.