Best Health

FIVE KEY WAYS TO PREVENT DISEASE

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“By and large, 50 percent [of disease risk] is due to our choices and 50 percent is due to our genetics,” says Dr. Paré. Takeaway? Even without expensive personaliz­ed services, you can reduce your risk of future illness with a few lifestyle tweaks. Here’s how to own your wellness.

GET REGULAR SCREENINGS

Ensure you discuss age-appropriat­e screening tests with your doctor — and be sure to mention any family history. From a Pap test to a colonoscop­y, many medical tests can catch potential problems before they start.

MANAGE YOUR MICROBIOME

Your body’s bacteria play an important and little recognized role in the management of chronic diseases. Noshing on probiotic-rich foods and limiting antibiotic use are some ways to start improving yours.

MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT

Staying on top of your waistline helps reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease and many types of cancer. Check in with your doctor if you’re not sure what a healthy weight for your body is.

HIT THE GYM

Not only does exercise help you manage your weight, it’s also beneficial for longterm disease prevention and your metabolism, and it can substantia­lly increase the length of your life. Plus, exercise is important for maintainin­g your mental health, which is also key to improving your life expectancy.

BUTT OUT

Quitting smoking reduces your risk of heart disease, many types of cancer and lung disease. Smoking causes DNA damage, oxidative stress and inf lammation in the body so skip even the occasional cigarette if you want a longer, disease-free life.

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