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Special Section

To your health: Doctors recommend top 12 healthy lifestyle changes to make this year

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February 15, 2012 | 1,588 views | Post a comment

(NewsUSA) - With the many healthy resolutions that were made to kick off 2012, wouldn’t it be nice if you actually had a doctor’s opinion to point you toward the healthiest changes you can make?

A new survey of practicing physicians by with MedPage Today reveals the 12 most popular doctor-prescribed resolutions.

Top 12 doctor-prescribed New Year’s resolutions

1. Monitor your blood pressure

2. Quit smoking

3. Exercise 30 minutes a day

4. Lower your cholesterol

5. Get a diabetes screening

6. Control your portions

7. Get a flu shot

8. Take the stairs whenever possible

9. Sleep at least 7 hours a night

10. Eat whole grains, not refined flour

11. For women, perform a self breast exam every month

12. 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. “The key is not to bite off more than you can chew. Pledge to make a change that you can maintain. And try to get friends and family involved. It’s much easier to meet your goal if you have support.”

To view the complete survey, and to gain more tips and tools to live a healthy, happier life every day, visit

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