Lifestyle Choices Can Protect You from Disease
Stopping smoking (or never starting) lowers the risk of serious health problems, such as heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and lung disease, as well as premature death—even for longtime smokers.
Eating healthy helps prevent, delay, and manage heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases. A balanced, healthy dietary pattern includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy products and limits added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium.
Regular physical activity can help you prevent, delay, or manage chronic diseases. Aim for moderate intensity physical activity (like brisk walking or gardening) for at least 150 minutes a week, with muscle-strengthening activities 2 days a week.
Over time, excessive drinking can lead to high blood pressure, various cancers, heart disease, stroke, and liver disease. By not drinking too much, you can reduce these health risks.
Oral diseases—which range from cavities and gum disease to oral cancer—cause pain and disability for millions of Americans. To help prevent these problems, drink fluoridated water, brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day, and floss daily. Visit your dentist at least once a year, even if you have no natural teeth or have dentures.
Insufficient sleep has been linked to the development and poor management of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression. Adults should get at least 7 hours of sleep daily.
If you have a family history of a chronic disease, like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or osteoporosis, you may be more likely to develop that disease yourself. Share your family health history with your doctor, who can help you take steps to prevent these conditions or catch them early.
By making healthy behaviors part of your daily life, you can prevent conditions such as high blood pressure or obesity, which raise your risk of developing the most common and serious chronic diseases. Learn more about healthy actions you or your loved ones can take.