While investing in your health and wellness can sound like an overwhelming goal as a parent, doctors say that there are easy, tangible steps you can take to feel your best and better protect your health.
“It is always the right time to consider your personal goals and how you can make positive health choices,” says American Medical Association president Gerald E. Harmon. “Small lifestyle changes today can have a lasting effect in improving your health.”
Not sure where to start? Consider these tips from the American Medical Association.
1. Make sure your family is up-to-date on their vaccines, including the annual influenza vaccine for everyone 6 months and older and the COVID-19 vaccine for everyone 5 and older. Anyone with questions about the COVID-19 vaccines should speak with their physician and review trusted resources, including getvaccineanswers.org.
2. Learn your risk for Type 2 diabetes by taking a simple online 2-minute self-screening test at DoIHavePrediabetes.org. Steps you take now can help prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes.
3. Be more physically active. Adults should do at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity activity.
4. Know your blood pressure numbers. Take the time to visit ManageYourBP.org to better understand your numbers and take necessary steps to get high blood pressure — also known as hypertension — under control. Doing so will reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke.
5. Reduce your intake of processed foods, especially those with added sodium and sugar. Also reduce your consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and drink more water instead.
6. If your health care professional determines that you need antibiotics, take them exactly as prescribed. 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.
7. 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.
8. Talk with your doctor about tobacco and nicotine use and quit. Declare your home and car smoke-free to eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke.
9. 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. 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.
More health resources and tips can be found my visiting ama-assn.org.