This article is excerpted from an American Medicine Association (AMA) article by Sara Berg on December 27, 2019.

Every new year comes with a laundry list of resolutions to “get healthier.” But it is often hard to stick to those New Year’s resolutions and goals. The AMA offers up these 10 recommendations to make health a priority in 2020.

Learn your risk for type 2 diabetes. Take a self-screening test to determine their risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. By taking steps now, it can help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Be more physically active. According to the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines, about 80% of U.S. adults and adolescents are insufficiently active. Each week, adults should participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity. Maintaining proper amounts of physical activity can foster normal growth and development while also reducing the risk for many chronic diseases.

Know your blood pressure numbers. Visit to better understand blood pressure numbers and take necessary steps to get high blood pressure under control. This will reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke.

Reduce intake of processed foods, added sodium and sugar. When it comes to a healthy diet, eat less red meat and processed meats, and add more plant-based foods, such as olive oil, nuts and seeds. Everyone should also reduce their 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, suggests a study published in JAMA Network Open.

Take antibiotics exactly as prescribed. Antibiotic resistance is a serious public health problem—more than 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur annually in the U.S. and kill more than 35,000 people each year, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Antibiotics will not make patients feel better if they have a virus, such as a cold or flu.

If consuming alcohol, do so in moderation. Women should only drink up to one drink per day while it is two drinks per day for men, as defined by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Only adults of legal drinking age should consume alcohol.

Quit tobacco and e-cigarette use (or vaping). It is a wise decision to declare homes and cars smoke-free. This can help eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke. Those looking to quit should work with their physicians to drop the habit for good using evidence-based, Food and Drug Administration-approved cessation aids. E-cigarettes fall short as a harm-reduction tool and should not be used to help quit smoking.

Pain medication is personal. When taking prescription opioids or other medications, follow doctor’s instructions, store them safely to prevent misuse and properly dispose of any leftover medication.

Remain up to date on vaccines. This includes getting the annual influenza vaccine for everyone age six months or older. Pregnant women can receive the flu vaccine during any trimester but should receive the Tdap vaccine early in the third trimester to protect against the flu and whooping cough.

Manage stress. It is important to follow a healthy diet, get at least 7.5 hours of sleep each night, perform daily exercise and wellness activities—like yoga and meditation. These are key ingredients to maintaining and improving mental health. Additionally, do not hesitate to ask for help from a mental health professional when needed.

These recommendations can improve, or help to improve, a variety of health issues, including back or neck pain related to a spinal disorder. If you’ve taken this consideration to heart as you progress through the new year but still suffer with spine-related pain, we are here to help you. The Bonati Spine Institute can treat chronic pain with our patented, outpatient procedures. If you’re interested in learning more, simply call us at 855-267-0482 or complete our online contact form here and a patient advocate will contact you at your convenience.

Read the full AMA article here: