With January 1 fast approaching, it's that time of year when everyone makes resolutions for the upcoming year. However, most people who make resolutions with the best of intentions start out strong, but fade as the new year moves forward. However, for those people wanting to keep their hearts in top shape, there are five very important resolutions they should make and stick to each and every day. 

Be Active Everywhere
With heart disease being the number one killer of people in the United States, one of the keys to staying healthy is to stay active as much as possible. While many people believe this entails only going to the local gym two or three times a week, it means much more than that. Simple things such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking further away from a store and walking a bit more, or walking on your lunch hour can make quite a difference. Even simple tasks around a home, such as cleaning house or mowing the yard, can go far toward keeping a heart in great shape.

Limit the Fat
While fat may help some foods taste great, it does little to help your heart. Saturated fats can lead to high levels of cholesterol, so it's best to avoid them as much as possible. As an alternative, choosing lean meats such as chicken can help keep both good and bad cholesterol levels in a normal range.

Drink Plenty of Water
Considered one of the simplest things people can do to help their hearts, drinking water instead of high-sugar sodas can make a tremendous difference when it comes to keeping weight gains to a minimum. In fact, cutting out sodas can virtually guarantee a weight loss of 10-15 pounds without doing anything else. If water is a bit boring for your tastes, tea or all-natural fruit juices are a great alternative.

Snack on Fruits and Vegetables
Rather than reaching for a brownie or a piece of pie for a snack, consider eating an apple or some carrot sticks instead. Packed with plenty of vitamins and nutrients, they help keep weight gains to a minimum while also giving your body plenty of fiber, which can aid in digestion.

Lower Stress Levels
If there is one thing that's bad for a heart, it's always being under stress. Therefore, if you're a person who's always sweating the small stuff, it's time to relax in the upcoming year. To combat stress, try doing such things as deep breathing or a yoga class. In addition to these, many people find a few minutes of meditation at the beginning of their day helps clear their mind and prepare them to face the world. 

By sticking to these and other resolutions for the new year, it's quite possible to find yourself not only with a much healthier heart, but a much happier life as well. And as we all know, if there's one thing that should never be taken for granted, it's our health.