Site Map

Healthy living

Healthy habits

Images

Exercise 30 minutes a day
Exercise with friends
Exercise - a powerful tool

I Would Like to Learn About:

Information

Good health habits can allow you to avoid illness and improve your quality of life. The following steps will help you feel better and live better.

EXERCISE

Exercise is a key factor in staying healthy. Exercise strengthens the bones, heart, and lungs, tones muscles, improves vitality, relieves depression, and helps you sleep better.

Talk to your provider before starting an exercise program if you have health conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, or diabetes. This can help ensure that your exercise is safe and that you get the most of out of it.

SMOKING

Cigarette smoking is the main preventable cause of death in the United States. One out of every 5 deaths each year is either directly or indirectly caused by smoking.

Secondhand cigarette smoke exposure can cause lung cancer in nonsmokers. Secondhand smoke is also linked to heart disease.

It is never too late to quit smoking. Talk to your provider or nurse about medicines and programs that can help you quit.

ALCOHOL USE

Drinking alcohol changes many brain functions. Emotions, thinking, and judgment are first to be affected. Continued drinking will affect motor control, causing slurred speech, slower reactions, and poor balance. Having a higher amount of body fat and drinking on an empty stomach will speed up the effects of alcohol.

Alcoholism can lead to diseases including:

Parents should talk to their children about the dangerous effects of alcohol. Talk to your provider if you or someone close to you has a problem with alcohol. Many people whose lives have been affected by alcohol get benefit from taking part in an alcohol support group.

DRUG AND MEDICINE USE

Drugs and medicines affect people in different ways. Always tell your provider about the all drugs you are taking. This includes over-the-counter medicines and vitamins.

Pregnant women should not take any drug or medicine without talking to the provider. This includes over-the-counter medicines. The unborn baby is even more sensitive to the harm from drugs in the first 3 months. Tell your provider if you have been taking any drugs just before becoming pregnant.

Always take medicines as prescribed. Taking any drug in a way other than prescribed or taking too much can cause serious health problems. It is considered drug abuse. Abuse and addiction are not just associated with illegal "street" drugs.

Legal drugs such as laxatives, painkillers, nasal sprays, diet pills, and cough medicines can also be misused.

Addiction is defined as continuing to use a substance even though you are experiencing problems related to the use. Simply needing a drug (like a painkiller or antidepressant) and taking it as prescribed is not addiction.

DEALING WITH STRESS

Stress is normal. It can be a great motivator and help in some cases. But too much stress can cause health problems such as trouble sleeping, stomach upset, anxiety, and mood changes.

OBESITY

Obesity is a serious health concern. Excess body fat can overwork the heart, bones, and muscles. It can also increase your risk for developing high blood pressure, stroke, varicose veins, breast cancer, and gallbladder disease.

Obesity can be caused by eating too much and eating unhealthy foods. Lack of exercise also plays a part. Family history may be a risk for some people as well.

DIET

Having a balanced diet is important to being in good health.

TOOTH CARE

Good dental care can help you keep your teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime. It is important for children to begin good dental habits when they are young. For proper dental hygiene:

References

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force website. Final recommendation statement: healthful diet and physical activity for cardiovascular disease prevention in adults with cardiovascular risk factors: behavioral counseling. www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/RecommendationStatementFinal/healthy-diet-and-physical-activity-counseling-adults-with-high-risk-of-cvd. Updated December 2016. Accessed July 14, 2017.

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force website. Final recommendation statement: tobacco smoking cessation in adults, including pregnant women: behavioral and pharmacotherapy interventions. www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/RecommendationStatementFinal/tobacco-use-in-adults-and-pregnant-women-counseling-and-interventions. Updated November 2016. Accessed July 14, 2017.

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force website. Final recommendation statement: dental caries in children from birth through age 5 Years: Screening. www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/RecommendationStatementFinal/dental-caries-in-children-from-birth-through-age-5-years-screening. Updated December 2016. Accessed July 14, 2017.

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force website. Final recommendation statement: alcohol misuse: screening and behavioral counseling interventions in primary care. www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/RecommendationStatementFinal/alcohol-misuse-screening-and-behavioral-counseling-interventions-in-primary-care. Updated May 2013. Accessed July 14, 2017.

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force website. Final recommendation statement: drug use, illicit: screening. www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/RecommendationStatementFinal/drug-use-illicit-screening. Updated February 2014. Accessed July 14, 2017.

BACK TO TOP

Review Date: 8/26/2017  

Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

ADAM Quality Logo

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, for Health Content Provider (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2019 A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.