Get healthy, stay healthy

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Your health matters, to you — and to your family. Getting healthy and staying that way doesn't have to be complicated.

You can reduce your risk of many health problems by taking care of the basics, like preventive tests and exams and paying attention to your eye health, which might hint at bigger health issues.

Concentrate on these four areas to get and keep yourself on track.

Get serious about prevention

Take steps to keep yourself healthy through small changes to your habits to reduce your risks.

Smoking, inactivity, poor diet, and too much alcohol account for nearly half or all deaths. Remember the numbers 5-2-1-0:

  • 5 fruits and veggies each day
  • 2 hours of screen time, or less
  • 1 hour of physical activity a day (aim for at least for 30 minutes)
  • 0 cigarettes or other tobacco products and sweetened drinks

Man runningGet the backstory. Knowledge is power. Ask about your family's medical history, including illnesses, chronic conditions, and premature deaths, and read up on common conditions you might face.

Hit the gym, or the sidewalk. Play basketball instead of watching it on T.V. No time for the gym? Take the dog for a brisk walk.  Aim for half an hour to an hour of physical activity each day.

Do a gut check. If you're overweight, a little weight loss can make a big difference. Visit our healthy weight center to explore options that really work. Don't know your healthy weight? Use our body mass index (BMI) calculator.

Power up your diet. Nourish gives you personalized strategies for making smart food choices to increase energy, build muscle, and live healthier.

Stay cool under pressure

Sometimes, the biggest threats to your health aren't too much soda and too little exercise. It's mental and emotional issues that you dodge.

Not dealing with stress from work, family, relationships, or finances can Man resting on a benchcause or worsen physical conditions. Get some healthy strategies for coping with life's ups and downs.

Ready, set, relax. Relax gives you personalized strategies for beating stress.

Get some Zs. Getting 7 or more hours of sleep every night can boost your energy and focus. Trouble sleeping? Try Dream.

Open up. If you're depressed, angry, or anxious, talk to your doctor or someone you trust.

Build better habits

Breathe easier. Smoking doesn't just increase your risk of lung cancer and heart disease. It can cause erectile dysfunction, too. Find out how to quit smoking.

Drink responsibly. Limit your drinking to 2 drinks a day. One drink is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or a 1 1/2 ounce shot of hard liquor. If drinking is causing problems for you or others, find mental health services near you.

Protect yourself – at all times

You know to practice safer sex to avoid HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, but protection isn't just for the bedroom. Reduce other risks to your health by:

  • wearing a helmet on a bike, motorcycle, or skateboard.
  • buckling up every time you drive, and keeping your cool behind the wheel. Aggressive driving may be a factor in 50 percent of car crashes.
  • focusing on the road. Turn off your cell phone and keep it out of reach when driving.
  • protecting your skin. Wear a hat and sunscreen and stay away from tanning beds.
  • protecting yourself from exercise injuries. If you are new to exercise, start with walking or another low-impact activity and try for 15 minutes a day for 3 days a week and then increase a bit each week.
  • getting a flu shot and washing your hands during cold and flu season.

Reviewed by: Mark Groshek, MD, March 2016
Additional Kaiser Permanente reviewers

© 2016 Kaiser Permanente

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