Regular physical activity and a healthy diet helps improve your overall health and fitness, and reduces your risk for many chronic diseases. These important health behaviors get a lot of attention from health care providers, the media, politicians and policy makers and society in general. While fitness and diet trends may change with the times, there are basic steps you can take to live a healthy lifestyle.

These websites offer trusted information you can use to make healthy choices:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers tips for healthy living including nutritional information, exercise recommendations, and tips for reducing stress.
  • US Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion published physical activity guidelines in 2008.
  • Kaiser Permanente has tools and information to help promote healthy behaviors such as eating well, exercising, and quitting smoking. A BMI calculator and other tools to calculate health risks are also available, such risks for a heart attack or osteoporosis.
  • Mayo Clinic has numerous articles on healthy living categorized by topic and also life stages.

Local chapters of the YMCA, Weight Watchers, community health organizations such as the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association, and even some faith-based organizations can all be sources of support for healthy choices. Ask your doctor and trusted friends for their recommendations.

Attending community-sponsored health fairs can also be a good source to learn about the range of health support opportunities locally. Information is available from major community health organizations.

  • American Cancer Society offers a range of information such as a guide to quit smoking, support groups for cancer, and health resources.
  • American Diabetes Association provides general health information and also specific information for those managing diabetes.
  • American Heart Association HeartHub provides information related to specific conditions like stroke or a heart attack. Information is also available for healthy living such as healthy recipes, tools to monitor your health, and other resources.
  • The YMCA has a newsletter and a variety of programs to promote healthy kids, families, and communities.

In this digital age, some people are turning for support from family, friends or online communities for encouragement or to monitor their health through tools like blogs, Twitter, Facebook groups, apps for smart phones, or public calendars.

Original post by the Center for Advancing Health. Updated by the GW Cancer Institute January 2016.