7 Steps for Disease Prevention and Healthy Living (2022)

It can be challenging to keep up with recommendations for how to prevent disease and stay healthy. Guidelines for what to eat or not to eat, how (and how often) to exercise, how much to sleep, and other lifestyle measures change all the time. What's more, medical organizations and other sources sometimes offer conflicting advice.

That said, the basics of disease prevention actually aren't complicated. A good source is the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), which bases health-preserving recommendations on the evaluation of scientific literature on which health care, health screenings, and healthy living guidelines really work.

According to the USPSTF there are seventhings in particular everyone can do to live healthfully, prevent disease, increase longevity, and improve overall physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. You may already do some or even all of them but chances are you can improve in each one.

7 Steps for Disease Prevention and Healthy Living (1)

1. Get Screened

Health screenings for womenand those formen are tests used to uncover illness early on, before symptoms appear. Early detection of diseases such as cancer can make a significant difference in treatment and even life expectancy. Your healthcare provider likely advises you of the tests you should undergo and when, but another good source of this information is MyHealthFinder.gov. This site features current health screening recommendations based on age and sex from the USPSTF, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

2. Don't Smoke

Smoking shortens both the length and quality of a person’s life. It's responsible for many diseases and is the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. If you smoke, quitting is your number one health priority. The USPSTF recommends that healthcare providers counsel patients to stop smoking, and for those who are not pregnant, suggest FDA-approved smoking cessation medications.

3. Be Active

The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion offersexercise recommendationsfor every age group from children to seniors. Regular physical activity is key to staying healthy by reducing the risk of chronic disease, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and some types of cancer. Work exercise into your daily/weekly schedule—making a point to do both resistance and cardio training—for a longer, more active life.

Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity (or a combination) each week. They should also do strengthening activities at least twice per week.

4. Eat Healthfully

Buildinghealthy eating habits can protect your health, prevent disease, and minimize the severity of conditions you already have. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion notes in their Dietary Guidelines 2015-2020 that the evidence is strong that you reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by healthy eating habits. The evidence is of moderate strength that you can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, or being overweight or obese.

A healthy diet has these characteristics:

  • Higher intakes of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy, seafood, legumes, and nuts
  • Lower intakes of meats (including processed meats and processed poultry), sugar-sweetened foods (particularly beverages), and refined grains

Eating fruit and vegetables can also increase your life expectancy. A 2017 review of studies found an average 5% reduction of risk of mortality from all causes for one serving of fruit or vegetables per day, and a 26% reduction with five or more servings per day. Talk to your healthcare provider about counseling or programs that can help ensure you are getting the nutrients you need for good health.

(Video) 7 Steps for Disease Prevention and Healthy Living

5. Lose Weight If You Need To

If you are overweight or obese, taking off excess pounds is another way to prevent disease or manage conditions you already have (such as diabetes, arthritis, or high blood pressure). Even a modest weight loss of 5% to 10% can be beneficial. If you switch out processed foods for fresh produce and skip sodas and other sugary foods, you can save hundreds of calories a day while also making more room on your plate for more fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

How Obesity Is Treated

6. Take Your Medicine

While a healthy diet and physical activity are the first lines of prevention and management for heart disease, your healthcare provider may recommend preventive medications as well. A statin might be recommended if you have high cholesterol, diabetes, are over 40, or have other risk factors. Medications to control blood pressure may also be used. Taking a daily low-dose aspirin was once standard for many adults age 50 to 59, but research has been changing that view for people who are at low risk for heart disease or increased risk for bleeding. Talk to your healthcare provider about what might be best to reduce your health risks.

7. Get Your Shots

Immunizations are not just for children. Current recommendations state that everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year and a Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) should be given every 10 years. Other vaccines are given when you reach a certain age, such as zoster vaccine to prevent shingles, and pneumococcal vaccine to prevent pneumonia.

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A Word From Verywell

If the idea of upping your self-care game is daunting, make any improvements or changes you need to in stages: There's no need to try to tackle them all at once. Pick one of the steps you want to focus on and devote a week to it: Start an exercise program, find out which screening tests you're due for and make appointments for them, making a small change or two to your diet, take steps to kick the habit if you're a smoker.

Of course you'll want to talk to your healthcare provider as well, as there may be additional things for you to do based on your family history, health condition, and other factors. But this is a great starting place for navigating health care and disease prevention.

11 Sources

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Consumer health content.

  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health effects of cigarette smoking.

  3. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Behavioral and pharmacotherapy interventions for tobacco smoking cessation in adults, including pregnant women: Consumer guide.

  4. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Current guidelines.

  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Physical activity: Why it matters.

  6. Grossman DC, Bibbins-domingo K, Curry SJ, et al. Behavioral counseling to promote a healthful diet and physical activity for cardiovascular disease prevention in adults without cardiovascular risk factors: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. JAMA. 2017;318(2):167-174. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.7171

    (Video) 7 Steps To Surviving And Preventing Cancer - A MUST WATCH!

  7. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Government Printing Office.

  8. Wang X, Ouyang Y, Liu J, et al. Fruit and vegetable consumption and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. BMJ. 2014;349:g4490. doi:10.1136/bmj.g4490

  9. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Losing weight.

  10. Arnett DK, Blumenthal RS, Albert MA, et al. 2019 ACC/AHA guideline on the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Circulation. 2019;140:e596–e646. doi:10.1161/CIR.0000000000000678

  11. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recommended adult immunization schedule for ages 19 years or older, United States.

(Video) Levels of Disease Prevention and approaches

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Mark Stibich, PhD, FIDSA, is a behavior change expert with experience helping individuals make lasting lifestyle improvements.

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FAQs

What are the 7 lifestyle changes? ›

The Simple 7 include four modifiable behaviors (not smoking, healthy weight, eating healthy and being physically active) and three biometric measures (blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar). These seven factors are classified into three categories: ideal, intermediate and poor.

What are 5 ways to prevent the spread of disease? ›

As well as maintaining good general health, there are some basic actions that everyone can take to stop the spread of infectious diseases:
  • Immunise against infectious diseases.
  • Wash and dry your hands regularly and well.
  • Stay at home if you are sick.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean surfaces regularly.
  • Ventilate your home.
5 Apr 2022

Can you give healthy tips to prevent the disease? ›

“For good health and disease prevention, avoid ultra-processed foods and eat homemade meals prepared with basic ingredients,” says Dr. Todorov. A study published in 2019 concluded that consumption of more than 4 servings of ultra-processed food was associated with a 62% increased hazard for all-cause mortality.

What is an example of disease prevention? ›

Primary Prevention:

It commonly institutes activities that limit risk exposure or increase the immunity of individuals at risk to prevent a disease from progressing in a susceptible individual to subclinical disease. For example, immunizations are a form of primary prevention.

What is the importance of disease prevention? ›

Health promotion and disease prevention programs can empower individuals to make healthier choices and reduce their risk of disease and disability. At the population level, they can eliminate health disparities, improve quality of life, and improve the availability of healthcare and related services.

What is the simple 7? ›

Introduction. Life's Simple 7 (LS7) was developed by the American Heart Association in 2010 as a measure of cardiovascular health based on 7 domains of smoking, diet, physical activity, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, total cholesterol, and fasting glucose.

What are the 7 lifestyle habit recommendations according to the TSAC book? ›

What are the seven healthy habits?
  • No smoking.
  • Stay physically active.
  • Eat a healthful diet.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Keep your cholesterol under control.
  • Keep your blood pressure at good levels.
  • Keep your blood sugar in check.
7 Oct 2013

What are the 10 principles of infection prevention? ›

What are the Standard Infection Control Precautions?
  • Hand Hygiene. ...
  • Placement and Infection Assessment. ...
  • Safe Management and Care of Environment. ...
  • Safe Management of Equipment. ...
  • Safe Management of Linen. ...
  • Personal Protective Equipment. ...
  • Respiratory and Cough Hygiene. ...
  • Safe Management of Blood and Body Fluids.
29 Mar 2021

How can we prevent diseases Class 9? ›

Hygienic conditions should be maintained in the surroundings we live in. There should be limited exposure to airborne microbes by providing not so crowded living conditions. Safe drinking water should be provided to prevent water-borne diseases. Provide a clean environment which prevents the breeding of mosquitoes.

What is disease prevention and control? ›

It covers a wide range of social and environmental interventions that are designed to benefit and protect individual people's health and quality of life by addressing and preventing the root causes of ill health, not just focusing on treatment and cure.”

What are the types of prevention? ›

  • Primary Prevention—intervening before health effects occur, through.
  • Secondary Prevention—screening to identify diseases in the earliest.
  • Tertiary Prevention—managing disease post diagnosis to slow or stop.

What types of diseases are there? ›

There are four main types of disease: infectious diseases, deficiency diseases, hereditary diseases (including both genetic diseases and non-genetic hereditary diseases), and physiological diseases. Diseases can also be classified in other ways, such as communicable versus non-communicable diseases.

What are the best health behaviors to manage a disease? ›

Five key health-related behaviors for chronic disease prevention are never smoking, getting regular physical activity, consuming no alcohol or only moderate amounts, maintaining a normal body weight, and obtaining daily sufficient sleep.

What is the most important level of prevention? ›

Primary prevention aims to prevent disease or injury before it ever occurs. This is done by preventing exposures to hazards that cause disease or injury, altering unhealthy or unsafe behaviours that can lead to disease or injury, and increasing resistance to disease or injury should exposure occur.

What do people do to protect or improve their health? ›

Look after your health by watching what you eat, being physically active, having an active social life, getting plenty of rest, not drinking too much alcohol and not smoking. You can take steps to help reduce your risk of disease, such as making sure your immunisations are up to date and handling your food safely.

What are the 10 communicable diseases? ›

Information for Specific Communicable Diseases
  • Chickenpox / Shingles.
  • COVID-19.
  • Ebola.
  • Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE)
  • Hepatitis B.
  • Hepatitis C.
  • HIV / AIDS.
  • HIV / STDs / Hepatitis.

What are the 4 types of diseases? ›

There are four main types of disease: infectious diseases, deficiency diseases, hereditary diseases (including both genetic diseases and non-genetic hereditary diseases), and physiological diseases.

What is safety and prevention? ›

Safety is about taking steps to avoid or reduce risk. This includes steps you take while working, driving, playing sports, and doing chores. Prevention is about the choices you make each day regarding, among other things, tobacco, alcohol, and sexual activity.

Which behavior is the best example of disease prevention? ›

Primary prevention includes those preventive measures that come before the onset of illness or injury and before the disease process begins. Examples include immunization and taking regular exercise to prevent health problems developing in the future.

What are the 7 primary risk factors? ›

Since you can't do anything about these risk factors, it's even more important that you manage your risk factors that can be changed.
  • Increasing Age. ...
  • Male gender. ...
  • Heredity (including race) ...
  • Tobacco smoke. ...
  • High blood cholesterol. ...
  • High blood pressure. ...
  • Physical inactivity. ...
  • Obesity and being overweight.

What type of heart disease are commonly found? ›

The most common type of heart disease in the United States is coronary artery disease (CAD), which affects the blood flow to the heart. Decreased blood flow can cause a heart attack.

Which factor increases a person's risk for heart disease? ›

The Nation's Risk Factors and CDC's Response. Leading risk factors for heart disease and stroke are high blood pressure, high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, diabetes, smoking and secondhand smoke exposure, obesity, unhealthy diet, and physical inactivity.

How can we live a healthy life? ›

Follow these seven tips to increase your energy and live a happier, healthier, more productive life:
  1. Eat nourishing food. ...
  2. Sleep seven to eight hours per night. ...
  3. Keep company with good people. ...
  4. Avoid news overdose. ...
  5. Get regular exercise. ...
  6. Do something meaningful each day.
9 Aug 2022

What are examples of healthy living? ›

  • 1.Get adequate rest daily. ...
  • 2.Get regular physical activity. ...
  • 3.Eat more plant based foods. ...
  • 4.Eat more whole-grain breads and cereals. ...
  • 5.Choose healthy fats. ...
  • 6.Achieve/Maintain a healthy weight. ...
  • Be free of dependence on tobacco, illicit drugs, or alcohol. ...
  • 8.Maintain a cheerful, hopeful outlook on life.

What is the primary goal of TSAC? ›

At TSAC, we aim to maximise each student's capacity as a consumer and producer of language and literature.

What are risk factors of health? ›

Your personal health risk factors include your age, sex, family health history, lifestyle, and more. Some risks factors can't be changed, such as your genes or ethnicity. Others are within your control, like your diet, physical activity, and whether you wear a seatbelt.

What are the risk factors for health and wellness? ›

Risk Factors Requiring Wellness Interventions
  • Physical Inactivity. ...
  • Stress. ...
  • Tobacco Use. ...
  • Excessive Alcohol Consumption. ...
  • Sleep Disruption. ...
  • Nutritional Habits. ...
  • Compounding Effects.

What are the 8 standard precautions for infection control? ›

reprocessing of reusable instruments and equipment. routine environmental cleaning. waste management. respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette.
...
Standard precautions
  • blood (including dried blood)
  • all other body fluids/substances (except sweat), regardless of whether they contain visible blood.
  • non-intact skin.
  • mucous membranes.
24 Oct 2021

What are the 6 chain of infection? ›

The 6 points include: the infectious agent, reservoir, portal of exit, means of transmission, portal of entry, and susceptible host. The way to stop germs from spreading is by interrupting the chain at any link. The host is any carrier of an infection or someone at risk of infection.

What are the 3 most important actions to prevent infection? ›

Get the appropriate vaccine. Wash your hands frequently. Practice physical distancing from members outside your household, when appropriate (staying more than 2 metres (6 feet) apart).

What do we need to prevent and cure the diseases Class 7? ›

What do we need to prevent and treat diseases? Answer: In order to prevent and treat illnesses we need appropriate healthcare facilities. They are health centres, hospitals, laboratories for testing, ambulance services, blood banks, etc.

What are the two ways to treat an infectious disease Class 9 Ncert? ›

Using sterilized products and eating healthy food also prevents the spread of the ailment. 2. Kill the cause of the disease: Use medicines that can kill the pathogens. Each microbe undergoes some specific biochemical life process which helps them to survive.

How diseases are caused? ›

Infectious diseases commonly spread through the direct transfer of bacteria, viruses or other germs from one person to another. This can happen when an individual with the bacterium or virus touches, kisses, or coughs or sneezes on someone who isn't infected.

What is called disease prevention? ›

Disease prevention, understood as specific, population-based and individual-based interventions for primary and secondary (early detection) prevention, aiming to minimize the burden of diseases and associated risk factors.

What is the treatment of diseases? ›

Treatments can include medicine, therapy, surgery, or other approaches. A cure is when a treatment makes a health problem go away for good. Some health problems have a cure. For example, to treat athlete's foot, health care providers use special creams, powders, or sprays that kill the fungus that causes the infection.

Why is promoting health important? ›

Why is health promotion important? Health promotion improves the health status of individuals, families, communities, states, and the nation. Health promotion enhances the quality of life for all people. Health promotion reduces premature deaths.

What is natural history of a disease? ›

Natural history of disease refers to the progression of a disease process in an individual over time, in the absence of treatment.

What is public health promotion? ›

As a core function of public health, health promotion supports governments, communities and individuals to cope with and address health challenges. This is accomplished by building healthy public policies, creating supportive environments, and strengthening community action and personal skills.

What are the 3 levels of prevention explain each? ›

The three levels of prevention are primary, secondary, and tertiary. In primary prevention, a disorder is actually prevented from developing. Vaccinations, counseling to change high-risk behaviors, and sometimes chemoprevention are types of primary prevention.

What are the 7 killer diseases? ›

7 Deadliest Diseases in History: Where are they now?
  • The Black Death: Bubonic Plague. ...
  • The Speckled Monster: Smallpox. ...
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) ...
  • Avian Influenza: Not Just One For The Birds. ...
  • Ebola: On The Radar Again. ...
  • Leprosy: A Feared Disease That Features In The Old Testament.
15 Aug 2022

What are called disease? ›

disease, any harmful deviation from the normal structural or functional state of an organism, generally associated with certain signs and symptoms and differing in nature from physical injury. A diseased organism commonly exhibits signs or symptoms indicative of its abnormal state.

What is the importance of disease prevention? ›

Health promotion and disease prevention programs can empower individuals to make healthier choices and reduce their risk of disease and disability. At the population level, they can eliminate health disparities, improve quality of life, and improve the availability of healthcare and related services.

What are the 4 types of prevention? ›

These preventive stages are primordial prevention, primary prevention, secondary prevention, and tertiary prevention.

Why is it important to prevent yourself from health issues and problems? ›

Taking care of yourself prevents health problems and saves money by reducing the number of office visits and medications you need. Self-care reduces the heavy costs of healthcare associated with disease.

How can we prevent diseases Class 9? ›

Hygienic conditions should be maintained in the surroundings we live in. There should be limited exposure to airborne microbes by providing not so crowded living conditions. Safe drinking water should be provided to prevent water-borne diseases. Provide a clean environment which prevents the breeding of mosquitoes.

What are the types of prevention? ›

  • Primary Prevention—intervening before health effects occur, through.
  • Secondary Prevention—screening to identify diseases in the earliest.
  • Tertiary Prevention—managing disease post diagnosis to slow or stop.

What is the most effective method for the prevention of diseases? ›

Wash your hands often. Washing with regular soap and rinsing with running water, followed by thorough drying, is considered the most important way to prevent disease transmission.

What are the 5 causes of disease? ›

The agents that cause disease fall into five groups: viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and helminths (worms).

What do we need to prevent and cure the diseases Class 7? ›

What do we need to prevent and treat diseases? Answer: In order to prevent and treat illnesses we need appropriate healthcare facilities. They are health centres, hospitals, laboratories for testing, ambulance services, blood banks, etc.

What are the 10 communicable diseases? ›

Information for Specific Communicable Diseases
  • Chickenpox / Shingles.
  • COVID-19.
  • Ebola.
  • Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE)
  • Hepatitis B.
  • Hepatitis C.
  • HIV / AIDS.
  • HIV / STDs / Hepatitis.

What types of diseases are there? ›

There are four main types of disease: infectious diseases, deficiency diseases, hereditary diseases (including both genetic diseases and non-genetic hereditary diseases), and physiological diseases. Diseases can also be classified in other ways, such as communicable versus non-communicable diseases.

What are 3 examples of prevention? ›

legislation and enforcement to ban or control the use of hazardous products (e.g. asbestos) or to mandate safe and healthy practices (e.g. use of seatbelts and bike helmets) education about healthy and safe habits (e.g. eating well, exercising regularly, not smoking) immunization against infectious diseases.

What is disease prevention and control? ›

It covers a wide range of social and environmental interventions that are designed to benefit and protect individual people's health and quality of life by addressing and preventing the root causes of ill health, not just focusing on treatment and cure.”

What is meant by disease prevention methods? ›

Disease prevention, understood as specific, population-based and individual-based interventions for primary and secondary (early detection) prevention, aiming to minimize the burden of diseases and associated risk factors.

How are diseases caused and how do you prevent and cure them? ›

Prevention & Treatment
  1. Keep immunizations up to date.
  2. Wash your hands often. ...
  3. Prepare and handle food carefully. ...
  4. Use antibiotics only for infections caused by bacteria. ...
  5. Report to your doctor any rapidly worsening infection or any infection that does not get better after taking a course of antibiotics, if prescribed.

What are the 6 types of diseases? ›

What are the types of infectious diseases?
  • Viral infections. Viruses are a piece of information (DNA or RNA) inside of a protective shell (capsid). ...
  • Bacterial infections. ...
  • Fungal infections. ...
  • Parasitic infections. ...
  • Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs/prion diseases).
6 Jun 2022

What is disease Short answer? ›

disease, any harmful deviation from the normal structural or functional state of an organism, generally associated with certain signs and symptoms and differing in nature from physical injury.

What is disease Class 8? ›

Answer: A disease is a condition of disturbances in physical and psychological processes of the human body.

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