JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – As 2021 comes to a close, the American Medical Association (AMA) recommends 10 tips to create a healthier new year for you and your family.

AMA leaders said these tips can provide impactful and long-lasting improvements to health:

  • Make sure your family is up-to-date on their vaccines: This includes the annual influenza vaccine for everyone age six months or older and the COVID-19 vaccine for everyone age five and older. Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine here.
  • Learn your risk for type 2 diabetes: Take a simple, online 2-minute self-screening test here. Steps you take now can help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes, which is a risk factor for severe COVID-19 outcomes, including hospitalization or death.
  • Know your blood pressure numbers: Click here to better understand your numbers and take necessary steps to get high blood pressure under control. Doing so will reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke.
  • Manage stress: Maintain and improve your mental health with a good diet, sufficient sleep (at least 7.5 hours per night) and daily exercise and wellness activities like yoga or meditation. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from a mental health professional when you need it.
  • Be more physically active: Adults should do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intense activity.
  • Reduce your intake of processed foods, especially those with added sodium and sugar: Eat less red meat and processed meats and add more plant-based foods to your diet like olive oil, nuts and seeds. Reduce your consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and drink more water instead. Drinking sugary beverages, even 100% fruit juices, is associated with a higher all-cause mortality risk, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open.
  • Take antibiotics exactly as prescribed: Antibiotic resistance is a serious health problem and antibiotics will not make you feel better if you have a virus, such as a cold or flu.
  • Consume alcohol in moderation: The United State Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men, and only by adults of legal drinking age.
  • Talk about how to quit tobacco and e-cigarette products with your doctor: Declare your home and car smoke-free and aerosol-free to eliminate secondhand exposure.
  • Pain medication is personal: If you are taking prescription opioids or other medications, follow your doctor’s instructions, store them safely to prevent diversion or misuse and properly dispose of any leftover medication.

The AMA also encourages everyone who is eligible to visit healthcare.gov to sign up for health coverage, which includes recent changes that improve access and affordability. The deadline to enroll for 2022 coverage is Jan. 15, 2022. More health resources and tips can be found by visiting ama-assn.org.