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5 Steps to Take Charge of Your Health

Learn how to improve your health and how you can make a difference with a degree in public health.

Public health programs at the local, state, and national levels are designed to promote healthier lifestyles and help people improve their quality of life, and community health workers are some of the dedicated professionals who are working to achieve those goals. If you’re looking to improve your health or help someone else get their health on track, find out which five healthy habits can help you get started, and how you can make a difference by earning a public health degree such as a Master of Public Health (MPH) or an MS in Health Education and Promotion (MSHEP).

Time to Get Healthy

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.1 More than 16 million Americans have heart disease, leading to 600,000 deaths every year from heart attacks, coronary artery disease, and other related conditions. Public health professionals encourage those with risk factors to take charge of their health and improve their lifestyle by incorporating the following five habits:2

5 Steps to Take Charge of Your Health

  • Don’t smoke. A report from the surgeon general noted that smoking causes one out of every three cardiovascular disease deaths.3 Your risk of heart disease goes up the more you smoke, and smoking even just a few cigarettes a day can put your heart at risk. The best way to cut your risk of smoking-related heart disease is to quit.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Certain foods can contribute to the buildup of cholesterol in the arteries, increasing the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other health problems.4 A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy protein supplies the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fats you need to keep your heart healthy, while also limiting your risk of type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and some forms of cancer.
  • Exercise regularly. There are many benefits to staying active. Getting regular exercise when you have heart disease can help you lose weight, strengthen your heart muscle, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol. If you have heart disease, though, it’s important to talk to your doctor before you begin any exercise regimen.
  • Limit alcohol. The American Heart Association says that while drinking in moderation is fine, drinking too much can increase your risk of health problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, and stroke.5 If you do drink, consider opting for red wine, which has flavonoids and other antioxidants that may reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Get regular checkups. Just because you feel good doesn’t mean that you are good. Health issues such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol occur even in people who eat right and exercise, so it’s important to see your doctor on a regular basis to keep track of your health.

Public Health Majors Make a Difference

If you’ve been looking to enroll in a quality online MPH program or MSHEP program, Walden University offers an excellent way to earn an advanced degree through online classes.

As a student in Walden’s MPH degree program, you’ll learn how to take on the daily challenges you’ll face as a public health professional, from reducing health disparities to fighting outbreaks of infectious diseases. With a solid foundation in the core areas of public health, cutting-edge online courses, and valuable field experience, you’ll prepare for a career as a community health worker, along with many other jobs in public health.

Should you choose to earn your MS in Health Education and Promotion from Walden University, you’ll learn how to design health prevention programs, educate communities on important healthcare issues, and empower people to live healthy lives. Walden is one of only a few universities to offer this degree program online. Walden’s commitment to positive social change is reflected in all of its programs, and its high-quality public health curricula can help prepare you for success in a range of careers. Invest in your future and learn more about earning your MPH degree or MSHEP degree today.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering Master of Public Health (MPH) and MS in Health Education and Promotion programs online. Expand your career options and earn your master’s degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,