A Checklist for Staying Healthy

Medically Reviewed by Minesh Khatri, MD on May 14, 2023

Trying to pump up your healthy habits? Try these steps to start -- or keep -- living a healthy life!

  • Eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains every day.
  • Eat in moderation.
  • If you need to lose weight, track what you eat with a food diary.
  • Wash your hands after using the bathroom and before eating. Sing "Happy Birthday" twice and you'll have scrubbed long enough.
  • Get a flu shot every year
  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco. Need a boost in quitting? Ask your doctor about products or programs that can help
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation. That's no more than one drink a day for women, two for men.
  • Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
  • Exercise enough to get your heart rate up. You should get 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. You can break that up for 30 minutes five times a week or take a brisk 10-minute walk three times a day.
  • Drink plenty of water. What's enough? Your pee should be clear or slightly yellow.
  • Take a break and de-stress. Take deep breaths or meditate.
  • Do something with friends or family. Meet for coffee, make a date with your partner, and go to the park together.
  • Stay up to date with recommended cancer screenings such as a colonoscopy, PAP smear, HPV test, or mammogram.

Show Sources


Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: “Help for Smokers and Other Tobacco Users.”

CDC: “Five Minutes or Less for Health Weekly Tip: Prevent Poisonings,” “Flu Season Is Here- Vaccinate to Protect You and Your Loved Ones from Flu,” “Physical Activity,” “Tips for a Safe and Healthy Life.”

Harvard School of Public Health: “The Nutrition Source: Vitamins.”

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM): “Relaxation Techniques for Health: An Introduction.”

National Heart Blood and Lung Institute: “Daily Food and Activity Diary.”

University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center: “How Much is too Much?”

Vanderbilt University: “Hand Hygiene-Help Stop the Spread of Germs!”

Washington University Sleep Medicine Center: “How Much Sleep Do I Need?”

Women’sHealth.gov: “Fitness and Nutrition.”

Steinberg, DM. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Jan 2014; vol 46: pp 24-29.

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