Your health depends on many factors. Some factors are out of your control. For example, women with a family history of breast cancer may be more likely to develop it because of their genes. However, in many ways, you can control the factors that affect your health—for instance, you can decide to take a walk around your neighborhood instead of watching TV for another hour.

It’s important to take care of both your mind and your body for a number of reasons. Your efforts to live a balanced, healthy life have long-lasting and far-reaching implications for your personal wellbeing. A healthy routine can even help you defy your genes and reduce your risk of some diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and stroke. This article provides a very basic overview of practical measures you can take to ensure you’ll have a healthy mind and body.