GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Health professionals in our area say they have some ideas for your new year’s resolutions that could lower your risk of preventable diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes.
As part of our Ask the Expert series, in partnership with Bon Secours St. Francis Health, 7 news’ Jennifer Martin has 7 New Year’s resolutions that your doctors want you to make.
To improve your overall health, Ayesha Nutt, Nurse Practitioner for Bon Secours St. Francis, said there are 7 health goals that doctors want their patients to set each year, and the first is to stop smoking.
“Stop smoking, stop vaping, stop using all tobacco products,” she said. “If you have lung disease or if you have underlying asthma, hypertension or underlying risk of stroke, these patients really need to focus on decreasing the modifiable factors. One of these is smoking.”
The second goal she listed is to take your antibiotic medication exactly as prescribed.
“Sometimes people think they’re well after starting medication, and they feel better after 2 to 3 days and then they stop,” she explained. “What that’s done is killed the weak bacteria and left the strong bacteria to survive, leading to antibiotic-resistant diseases.”
Nutt also said to check the expiration date for all of your medications and make sure that you properly dispose of them past the expiration date.
The third New Year’s resolution she recommended is stop sharing pain medication with anyone, including family members.
“If you have leftover pain medication, it needs to be disposed of appropriately,” she said.
The fourth resolution is to stay up to date on vaccines, to protect yourself and those who cannot take vaccines, such as elderly people, those undergoing chemotherapy and infants.
The fifth resolution she recommended is to schedule annual check-ups with your primary care doctor and keep up with your doctor appointments.
“Know your risk factors, know what your cholesterol is, know your blood pressure reading,” she said.
The next resolution she listed is to eat less processed foods.
“The easy things to do would be swap out soda and sugar drinks for water. There are so many things you can do to make drinking water more fun, such as infusing it with herbs or fruits.”
Finally, she recommended exercising regularly, preferably 5 times a week.
“Even if you get up and walk for 20 minutes, anything is better than nothing,” she urged.
However, she said a good goal is to aim for getting at least 75 minutes of high intensity or 150 minutes of low intensity physical activity a week.
Nutt suggested setting small or reasonable goals and rewarding yourself as you achieve them to be successful with these resolutions.