Research shows that small actions we take every day can have a big impact on our lifelong health.
Staying healthy for life requires making your physical and mental wellbeing a priority.
A single unhealthy habit can put you at risk for a range of health issues. For example, smoking increases your chance of lung cancer and heart disease. Tobacco is harmful in other ways as well: it's linked to slower recovery after surgery, low birth weight in newborns, and asthma in children.
In contrast, a single healthy habit can have far-reaching good effects. For example, regular physical activity is linked to lower risk for cancer, heart disease, stroke, obesity, mental illness, and falls among seniors. This healthy habit – when practiced most days – can help also you sleep better and manage your stress in a positive way.
It's important to know that staying healthy is not only tied to what you do on your own. Your ability to maintain health and wellness is also shaped by other factors. These factors include your family circumstances and social networks, the safety of your community and the availability of affordable, nutritious food.
Our healthy living information and resources focus on five themes that are essential to physical and mental well-being:
Each theme has a direct impact on your risk for many diseases. Followed together as a "prescription" for healthy living, our advice can help you and your family stay well.