What you can do to prevent disability. While it’s important to be financially prepared for disability, it’s even better to avoid disability in the first place. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will reduce your chances of becoming disabled. Our individual choices are the main drivers of health and health care costs. In fact, personal health decisions determine 50% of our health status — but 46% of the time we make suboptimal decisions. 6 Take the time to learn your family health history and take care of your own health and well-being. Tips for staying healthy. Here are some common-sense tips for staying healthy. These tips are informational only, and are not a substitute for regular discussions with your doctor or other health care professional. • See your doctor Many people go to the doctor only when they are sick, but seeing your doctor for regular checkups can help you stay healthy. Be proactive and make sure to get the preventive care you need, like annual physical exams. Also, if certain conditions run in your family — such as heart disease, cancer or diabetes — tell your doctor and get the recommended screenings. • Eat well To maintain a healthy weight, eat plenty of high-fiber, nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables and lean proteins. Avoid foods high in saturated or trans fats. Talk to your doctor about what weight is right for you. Staying trim will help you maintain a healthy heart and good blood pressure, and reduce your risk for heart attack. • Exercise regularly In addition to eating well, it’s important to stay physically active. The American Heart Association recommends that you exercise 30 to 60 minutes at least four times per week. Exercise has been shown to help prevent heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure and obesity. • Keep healthy habits If you smoke, talk to your doctor about quitting. Smoking is associated with serious diseases like cancer, heart disease and stroke. If you drink alcohol, remember that while drinking in moderation may not be harmful, heavy drinking can cause liver damage and other health problems.