New Year's 2017With the new year upon us, it’s again time we examine our health and lifestyles, and see how best we can improve and maintain them. Consider some of these easy resolutions that will help you lead a healthier life for years to come.

1. Stop smoking and make this New Year tobacco-free!

If you smoke or use other tobacco products, the single greatest thing you can do to improve your health is quit. Do whatever you need to—seek out a program, a patch, a support group. Half a million North Americans die annually from disease caused by cigarette smoking. It doesn’t have to be!

2. Get your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked.

Don’t neglect your annual physical at the doctor’s office; a blood pressure reading and cholesterol test can provide warning signs for potential health problems.

3. Brush—and floss—at least twice a day.

A simple oral hygiene plan (and sticking to it) can work wonders in improving your dental health. Brushing and flossing (between every tooth) every morning and every night before bed can work wonders in battling the bacteria that grow during the long night.

4. Reduce your fat and sugar intake.

Too much fat and too little fiber are hard on the entire body. Watch for low-fat and sugar-free foods. And avoid food containing High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), which piles on empty calories and extra weight!

5. Guard against gum disease with regular dental checkups.

Periodontal disease has been revealed as a key risk factor for potential heart attack and stroke. It’s not just a dental thing—it can benefit your overall state of health!

6. Get a mammogram or a prostate exam.

If you’re 40 or over, these exams are essential cancer screens.