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© Copyright 2013
Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine

OVER HALF of all serious disease in the U.S. could be prevented with healthier lifestyles. By following these nine lifestyle recommendations, you can lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and diabetes. Before you know it, you’ll also have more energy and get a boost to your mood.

So take control of your health, and encourage your family to do the same. Choose one or two behaviors to start with. Once you’ve got those down, move on to the others.

Few things are as good for you as regular physical activity. While it can be hard to find the time, it's important to fit in at least 30 minutes of activity every day. More is even better, but any amount is better than none.

  • Choose activities you enjoy. Many things count as exercise, like walking, gardening, and dancing.
  • Make exercise a habit by setting aside the same time for it each day--try going to the gym each day at lunchtime or taking a walk regularly after dinner.
  • Stay motivated by exercising with someone.

For parents and grandparents
  • Play active games with your kids regularly, and go on family walks and bike rides when the weather allows.
  • Encourage children to play outside (when it’s safe) and to take part in organized activities, like soccer, gymnastics, and dancing.
  • Walk with your kids to school in the morning. It's great exercise for everyone.