A survey of practicing physicians by Everydayhealth.com yielded the following most-popular, doctor-prescribed resolutions:
- Monitor your blood pressure
- Quit smoking
- Exercise 30 minutes a day
- Lower your cholesterol
- Get a diabetes screening
- Control your portions
- Get a flu shot
- Take the stairs whenever possible
- Sleep at least 7 hours a night
- Eat whole grains, not refined flour
- For women, perform a self-breast exam every month
- Spend more time with family and friends
Although not ranked in the top 12, the survey includes some resolutions you may welcome.
The most surprising: Don't give up coffee. Yes, that's correct. Coffee actually has health benefits that doctors recommend. Studies show that women who drink a cup of coffee daily have up to a 25 percent lower stroke risk than those who drink it less often. In addition to lowering stroke risk, coffee can also decrease your odds of developing diabetes, skin cancer, cavities, Parkinson's disease, breast cancer and heart disease.
Three other noteworthy resolutions involved in Everyday Health's survey are to forgive people, try a once-a-week technology vacation for at least two months and don't text and drive.
All great advice.
However, none of these resolutions can be effective if you can't stay committed to them.
"About 40 to 45 percent of Americans make New Year's resolutions, and only about 60 percent end up keeping them for at least part of the year," says Everyday Health Medical Director Mallika Marshall, MD.