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Physical Activity

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention encourages individuals to participate in regular physical activity because it has been identified as one of the most important things you can do for your health. Physical activity can help you control your weight, reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, reduce your risk of some cancers, strengthen your bones and muscles, improve your mental health and mood, improve your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls, if you’re an older adult, and/or increase your chances of living longer.

According to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition, physical activity is any form of exercise or movement of the body that uses energy. Some of your daily life activities—doing active chores around the house, yard work, walking the dog—are examples. Physical activity provides long-term health benefits for everyone. By being active, you will burn calories, your sleep could improve, and chronic diseases could be prevented.

The American Diabetes Association advocates for individuals to engage in regular activity to aid in the management of diabetes. When you are active, your cells become more sensitive to insulin so it can work more efficiently. Physical activity is also important for your overall well being and can help with many other health conditions.

The Department of Health and Human Services issued the federal government’s first-ever Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans in 2008 to help Americans understand the types and amounts of physical activity that offer important health benefits.


Healthy Eating

Starting to eat healthier foods can be easier than you think. Taking small steps can improve your nutrition and move you towards a healthier you.President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition provides practical information to individuals, health professionals, nutrition educators, and the food industry to help consumers build healthier diets with resources and tools for dietary assessment, nutrition education, and other user-friendly nutrition information.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Choose My Plate initiative illustrates the five food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet using a familiar image. As Americans are experiencing epidemic rates of overweight and obesity, the online resources and tools can empower people to make healthier food choices for themselves, their families, and their children.


Smoking Cessation

Tobacco smoke contains a deadly mix of more than 7,000 chemicals; hundreds are harmful, and about 70 can cause cancer. Smoking increases the risk for serious health problems, many diseases, and death. People who stop smoking greatly reduce their risk for disease and early death. Although the health benefits are greater for people who stop at earlier ages, there are benefits at any age. You are never too old to quit.

Every year in the US, more than 480,000 people die from tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, making it the leading cause of preventable death in this country. Tragically, each day thousands of kids still pick up a tobacco product for the first time.

Find out how smoking and use of other tobacco products affects your health, what’s in a cigarette, how tobacco use and the tobacco industry impact specific populations, and how to keep kids from starting.

Tobacco use is the most common preventable cause of death. About half of the people who don’t quit smoking will die of smoking-related problems. Quitting smoking is important for your health. Soon after you quit, your circulation begins to improve, and your blood pressure starts to return to normal. Your sense of smell and taste return, and it’s easier for you to breathe. In the long term, giving up tobacco can help you live longer. Your risk of getting cancer decreases with each year you stay smoke-free.