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Top area doctors offer advice for a healthy New Year

Wednesday - 12/26/2012, 5:25am  ET

WASHINGTON - With New Year's resolutions on many people's minds, WTOP brings you the top tips from some of the area's best doctors on getting and staying healthy.

Internist Will Kimbrough with One Medical Group says his number one prescription is: "Making time for exercise."

And it's not just cardio, like running, walking and biking. He's talking weight training.

"Building muscle while you are younger so that it lasts as you age helps protect against falls - hip fractures if you happen to fall - all sorts of long-term health benefits," Kimbrough says.

Dr. Assil Saleh of Foxhall Internists says strength training also protects joints and the back.

"You need to strengthen your core muscles," she says.

Dr. Saleh adds that living in a sedentary society, working out is even more important.

In addition, she says starting smoking is a bad idea.

"We all know that smoking kills," says Dr. Saleh.

"Smoking is harmful to your health, whether it is related to cardiovascular disease, related to the higher increased risk of cancer..."

But big health scares are often the motivation I takes for smokers to get the message.

"You need to touch an emotional nerve to motivate them," says Dr. Saleh.

Cardiologist Warren Levy of Virginia Heart says the key to quitting is getting support.

"People who smoke know that it is really bad for them. But they are just incapable of stopping on their own."

WTOP's Paula Wolfson contributed to this report.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)