Make independent steps to improve public health

April is a great month to start thinking about public health. With summer around the corner and thoughts of warmer weather, we all would like good health to be able to enjoy outdoor activities.

Many Americans are hindered from good health by chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity and cancer. Seven in 10 deaths in the U.S. are related to preventable diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer.

According to the American Public Health Association, there are steps that we can take to lower our risk of developing these preventable diseases. By taking these first steps, together we can improve public health.

  • Learn the risk factors of conditions like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. While some may be genetic, many risk factors are lifestyle conditions which can be improved.
  • Take advantage of screenings in your area. Often these are offered free or at low-cost. Screenings can help diagnose conditions like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
  • Know the side effects from uncontrolled health conditions. Knowledge gives us the power to take that first step.
  • Set goals to start lifestyle changes that may curb preventable diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Lifestyle changes usually involve learning to eat healthier and becoming more physically active. Small, manageable steps taken day by day can lead to improved health. By taking steps to eat healthier and becoming more physically active, you may achieve a five to seven percent weight loss, which may lower your risk of developing chronic diseases like diabetes and obesity.
  • Take steps to stop smoking. Call the national quit smoking hotline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

Good health should never be taken for granted. Michigan State University Extension encourages that by setting small daily goals, steps can be taken to ensure your good health is still here tomorrow. If you already have a preventable disease, don’t despair. Small positive goals will lower your risk of negative side effects. Public health is our health –commit to a healthier lifestyle today.

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