What is healthy?
Complete physical, mental and social well-being.
Why is health important?
Living a healthy lifestyle can help prevent chronic diseases and long-term illnesses. Feeling good about yourself and taking care of your health are important for your self-esteem and self-image. Maintain a healthy lifestyle by doing what is right for your body.
Ways to improve health
What you eat is closely linked to your health. Balanced nutrition has many benefits. By making healthier food choices, you can prevent or treat some conditions. These include heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. A healthy diet can help you lose weight and lower your cholesterol, as well.
Get regular exercise.
Exercise can help prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and colon cancer. It can help treat depression, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure. People who exercise also get injured less often. Routine exercise can make you feel better and keep your weight under control. Try to be active for 30 to 60 minutes about 5 times a week. Remember, any amount of exercise is better than none.
Lose weight if you’re overweight.
Many Americans are overweight. Carrying too much weight increases your risk for several health conditions. These include:
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- type 2 diabetes
- heart disease
- some cancers
- gallbladder disease
Being overweight also can lead to weight-related injuries. A common problem is arthritis in the weight-bearing joints, such as your spine, hips, or knees. There are several things you can try to help you lose weight and keep it off.
Get quality sleep
The amount and quality of sleep are equally as important for a healthy mind and body. This can boost your immune system, prevent weight gain, strengthen your heart, make your mood better, increase productivity, and improve memory.
|Age group||Recommended amount of sleep|
|Infants 4 months to 12 months||12 to 16 hours per 24 hours, including naps|
|1 to 2 years||11 to 14 hours per 24 hours, including naps|
|3 to 5 years||10 to 13 hours per 24 hours, including naps|
|6 to 12 years||9 to 12 hours per 24 hours|
|13 to 18 years||8 to 10 hours per 24 hours|
|Adults||7 or more hours a night|
Protect your skin.
Sun exposure is linked to skin cancer. This is the most common type of cancer in the United States. It’s best to limit your time spent in the sun. Be sure to wear protective clothing and hats when you are outside. Use sunscreen year-round on exposed skin, like your face and hands. It protects your skin and helps prevent skin cancer. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. It should be at least an SPF 15. Do not sunbathe or use tanning booths.
Practice safe sex.
Safe sex is good for your emotional and physical health. The safest form of sex is between 2 people who only have sex with each other. Use protection to prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Condoms are the most effective form of prevention. Talk to your doctor if you need to be tested for STDs.
Don’t smoke or use tobacco.
Smoking and tobacco use are harmful habits. They can cause heart disease and mouth, throat, or lung cancer. They also are leading factors of emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The sooner you quit, the better.
Limit how much alcohol you drink.
Men should have no more than 2 drinks a day. Women should have no more than 1 drink a day. One drink is equal to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor. Too much alcohol can damage your liver. It can cause some cancers, such as throat, liver, or pancreas cancer. Alcohol abuse also contributes to deaths from car wrecks, murders, and suicides.
Questions to ask your doctor
- How many calories should I eat and how often should I exercise to maintain my current weight?
- Should I have a yearly physical exam?
- What types of preventive care does my insurance cover?
- When should I start getting screened for certain cancers and conditions?
- Which healthy choice is the most important for me?
- What are ways to improve health?
Good nutrition is essential in keeping current and future generations healthy across the lifespan. Consult our health advisor to find the best diet. Healthy food can be tasty as well!
Exercise can improve your mental health, prevent diseases, strengthen muscles and much more.
Many studies have shown that getting enough sleep is important to our health.
Engagement with the world through learning, problem-solving, creativity, etc.
How you feel can affect your ability to carry out everyday activities, your relationships, and your overall mental health.
Humans are a naturally social species. Strong, positive relationships can have a tremendous positive effect on our overall health.