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Some of the most common preventable health conditions that affect Americans, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, are costing the country billions of dollars annually. They rob individuals of years of their lives and leave them with disability and sickness.

Getting healthy and preventing these conditions can be done through regular exercise and a healthy diet. In 2009, a study involving over 20,000 participants revealed that those who followed four simple steps were 80% less prone to developing chronic illnesses like heart disease and cancer. The participants who followed these simple steps were less prone to developing type 2 diabetes. They had a lower chance of experiencing a heart attack and stroke.

  1. Exercise

Getting active is beneficial for health and can help lower the risk of various chronic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes. For instance, a brisk walk can reduce the risk of developing colon cancer.

According to Steven Blair, a Ph.D. exercise science professor at the University of South Carolina who has helped develop federal guidelines on exercise, regular exercise can improve brain function and add years to an individual’s life. In 2008, a study conducted by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital revealed that regular exercise could reduce the likelihood of dying prematurely.

  1. Keeping Up A Healthy Weight

A new analysis of state health department data revealed that the efforts to improve the nation’s obesity rates have been unsuccessful. Over the past five years, the rates of obesity in almost every state increased.

Although losing weight is hard, it can be done through regular exercise and a healthy diet. According to studies, losing just a few pounds can improve one’s health. To keep it off, one should maintain a healthy weight by exercising and restricting calories consumed. A straightforward way to reduce calories is to drink water instead of sugary drinks.

  1. No Smoking

Although it’s a no-brainer, lung cancer is still one of the leading causes of death. Smoking is known to cause around 80% to 90% of cases of this disease. The good news is that the number of people smoking in the US is falling. Due to the availability of various nicotine replacement therapies, such as patches and nasal sprays, it’s now easier to give up. A recent analysis revealed that these products could double the odds that a person will successfully stop smoking. Smoking cessation medications are also available.

  1. Spend Time With Family and Friends

Having a supportive circle of friends can also help lower one’s risk of heart disease. A study conducted by a university revealed that people with strong social networks are less likely to have plaque buildup in their arteries. James Fowler, a political science professor at the University of California in San Diego, says people’s joy can spread through their social networks.