There's something inspiring about the start of a new year. It represents a fresh beginning, and the perfect occasion to renew yourself with motivation and the promise to eat better, exercise more and spend less time sitting around watching TV.
But there is a right way to set healthy resolutions, and a wrong way. Think of the journey, not the destination, and plot your course with a series of tangible end points in mind, like the following five--all completely within your control and trackable.
I WILL SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH MY PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN.
This is the easiest of the five, and yet it is so often overlooked, especially by men. An annual checkup is your chance to measure your progress from year to year. Your doctor will test your blood and urine to look for any abnormalities that have sprung up, and offer you some suggestions on ways you can better take care of your body in the coming year.
Best advice: Be open and honest with your doctor. If there's something you know but aren't telling him or her, your doctor isn't seeing the whole picture and cannot offer the best, most complete advice and treatment. Don't be afraid to ask plenty of questions.
I WILL DO WHATEVER IS POSSIBLE TO GET MY BLOOD PRESSURE NUMBERS BELOW 125 AND BELOW 85.
High blood pressure is a--maybe the--leading cause of aging of your arteries, and aging of your arteries is the leading cause of heart attacks, strokes, memory loss and even wrinkling. So managing it is of the utmost importance.
Getting your blood pressure to 115/75 is optimal for aging, whether by lifestyle choices or any of about 150 blood pressure medications or their respective generics that are approved by the FDA. This is one your doctor can most certainly help you with, so don't forget Resolution No. 1.
I WILL GET A PEDOMETER AND WALK 10,000 STEPS EACH...