Top 12 Physician-Prescribed for a Healthier 2012

Simple steps to maintain optimal health
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An apple a day no longer tops the list of how to keep the doctor away this New Year as highlighted in the exclusive survey conducted by EverydayHealth.com to provide readers the "12 in 2012: Top Doctor-Prescribed New Year's Resolutions for 2012."

Encompassing the all-important categories of nutrition, exercise, medical and lifestyle, each resolution will be accompanied by selected comments from doctors around the country regarding its overall health benefits and helpful resources for resolution maintenance in the New Year, found on EverydayHealth.com. The top 12 doctor-recommended resolutions for 2012 are:

1. Monitor your blood pressure

2. Quit smoking

3. Exercise 30 minutes each 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.

Everyday Health's Medical Director Dr. Mallika Marshall, a Harvard-trained expert in pediatrics and internal medicine as well as a respected medical journalist, shares her insights on following the doctor's orders in the New Year. "Every New Year's, Americans vow to make a positive change in their lives but often cannot think beyond the popular choices of exercising and losing weight," explained Dr. Marshall. "It's reassuring for people to know what doctors from around the country say should be top on your list.  Some of the answers even surprised me, but each resolution is very valuable in helping Americans live a healthier life in 2012."

Since keeping New Year's resolutions can often prove most difficult, another valuable list generated from the doctor survey highlights useful items to help live a healthier life in 2012. Items fall into categories like sports and exercise (bicycle, pedometer, running shoes, racket), personal health statistics (scale, blood pressure monitor, glucometer, training watch with heart rate monitor) and healthy hobbies (gardening tools, dog leash, piano).

Click here to visit EveryDayHealth.com.