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The Importance of Knowing Your Risks

The Importance of Knowing Your Risks

Know Your Risk

Whether due to family history or lifestyle habits, knowing your risk of developing health issues can help you to reduce them. Here are some important factors to discuss with your primary care doctor to keep you on the path of health and wellness.

Lifestyle Choices

Lifestyle choices are behaviors you choose throughout your life that can either positively or negatively impact your health. Two of the most important choices that can increase your risk of developing health conditions and diseases include your physical activity levels and whether or not you use tobacco products.

Physical Activity Level

While sitting back on the couch and watching your favorite show may be a great way to unwind from a long day, spending too much time being inactive can wreak havoc on your physical health.

When you spend a majority of your time sitting, laying down, or being generally inactive, you:

  • Burn fewer calories
  • Lose muscle mass
  • Lose bone density
  • Make your immune system less effective
  • Can decrease blood circulation
  • Can potentially develop a hormonal imbalance
  • Encourage inflammation

When leading a sedentary lifestyle, you are at a higher risk of the following health conditions:

  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Colon, breast, and uterine cancers
  • Osteoporosis

To reverse these effects, it is essential that you slowly incorporate exercise and physical activity into your everyday routine. According to the American Heart Association, it is recommended that adults get at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity each week.


Whether you’re smoking cigarettes, using smokeless tobacco, or vaping—using tobacco and nicotine products has adverse effects on your health. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and premature death in the United States.

Some of the many health conditions and diseases that tobacco use can put you at an increased risk of developing include:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Various cancers including lung, throat, and mouth cancers
  • Lung disease
  • Diabetes

It is recommended that those who do smoke or use tobacco products quit as your body begins to reverse adverse effects almost immediately.

Family History

While most people understand that introducing healthy lifestyle choices into our routines can help us to lead happy and healthy lives, many don’t consider the role that family history plays. Familial history of health conditions and diseases are one of the most significant influences on your risk of developing them.

The most important factors that may increase your risk of developing a given health condition include:

  • Disease or condition is present in more than one immediate family member
  • Disease present that does not usually affect that sex, i.e., breast cancer occurring in a male
  • Combinations of diseases withing your family, i.e., heart disease and diabetes

You should speak with your primary doctor about any existing health conditions in your immediate family. If your doctor notices any patters or information that may point to an increased risk, they may refer you to a specialist or conduct further testing to determine your specific risk.

Primary and Specialty Care in Henry County

At Henry County Hospital, we’ve been providing compassionate healthcare since 1919. When it comes to primary and specialty care, each patient can expect individualized care that meets their needs. From education to emotional support, we focus on your individual health and wellness.