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Did you know that 50% of serious disease or illness could be prevented if people chose healthier lifestyles? That includes cancer. There are six simple ways that you can reduce your risk of developing cancer or other serious conditions. Now is a good time “own” your health.

1. Maintain a Proper Body Weight
Keeping off those extra pounds isn’t always easy, but it is definitely worth your time. Being overweight is linked to a higher risk of developing cancer. Integrate movement into your life. Walk rather than talking the elevator, park further away, get 30 minutes of exercise daily, and walk 10,000 steps per day. Eat a diet that is packed with fresh fruits and vegetables. Remember calories in needs to equal calories out if you want to maintain your weight. If you want to lose weight then you will have eat less or exercise more to burn calories.

2. Don’t Smoke
One of the best things you can do for your health is to quit smoking. It’s hard – anyone that has quit knows that, but they will also tell you how much better they feel. Don’t give up  - if you fail the first time, try again and again. Get involved in a stop smoking program through your workplace if they offer one. Never smoke in the car or house where others will be exposed to second hand smoke. 

3. Drink in Moderation
Moderate drinking can help your heart and reduce your risk of developing some forms of cancer. If you do not currently drink, there is no need to start. Men should have no more than two drinks a day and women no more than one drink a day. Try to avoid situations that are centered around alcohol, choose non-alcoholic beverages at parties and meals, and if you feel you have an alcohol problem be sure to talk to a professional.

4. Sun Protection
The warmth of the sun feels so good. Most of us look forward to those days. But without proper skin protection with sunscreen, we put ourselves at risk of developing skin cancer. Be sure to always wear protection. Use sunscreen with a rating of 15 SPF or higher, wear a hat, use long sleeves, don’t stay in the sun too long, and avoid the use of tanning beds. 

5. Protect Yourself from Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Sexually transmitted diseases like HPV are directly linked to certain cancers such as cervical cancers. Make sure to always practice safe sex by using a condom. Don’t rely on your partner for protection. Take your health into your own hands. 

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