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Your Healthy Family: New Year health checklist

Posted at 7:23 AM, Jan 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-04 07:23:03-05

At the start of the New Year, it's good to know where we stand when it comes to our health — especially if our New Year's resolution is health-related. Doctors say following a New Year health checklist will give you a baseline idea of your health, to set yourself up for success.

Your New Year health checklist should include scheduling wellness visits with your primary care provider, checking on your blood pressure and cholesterol, and if you're at risk, getting a diabetes screening. Routine screenings for cancer are also key to staying on top of your health.

Dr. Stephen Kopecky, a Cardiologist with Mayo Clinic, recommends making your health a part-time job.

"Get a blood pressure cuff at home, have it linked to your iPhone or smartphone so it'll record the pressures. Know your medicines. Keep a list on your smartphone. Know what they are why you take them. What the side effects are," he said.

Another thing to add to your checklist: incorporating more healthy foods into your diet. Doctor Roxanne Sukol, an Internist with Cleveland Clinic, said it doesn't have to be this drastic change.

"Improving the quality of the, and the nutritional value for quality of the food that we eat. Not denying ourselves certain things," she said.

Dr. Kopecky said getting your flu shot or COVID-19 vaccine can reduce your risk of cardiovascular problems.

"When we get the flu or we get COVID, we get a lot of inflammation in our body and that then can lead to problems with the lining of our arteries, where they start to block up and have blood clots, which can lead to a heart attack or a stroke," Dr. Kopecky said.

Knowing where we stand with our health at the start of the New Year can help us see how much progress we've made throughout 2023.