The WVU football season is underway. The following tips will help ensure that WVU fans have what it takes to cheer the Mountaineers on to a winning season:

Tackle your weight – If you are overweight, you have a greater risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and some forms of cancer. Your healthcare provider can help assess your risk factors and offer guidance to losing weight. Even modest weight loss can mean big health benefits.

Burn fat – At least 150 minutes of weekly physical activity, such as walking, biking, or swimming, can help you live longer and healthier. Exercise can relieve stress, anxiety, and depression, and elevate mood. It can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and several forms of cancer. To lose weight, 60 to 90 minutes of daily physical activity is recommended.

Build muscle strength – It is important to build muscle mass with strength training. Weight training helps burn calories, changes body composition, and strengthens bones and connective tissue. Consider adding pushups, sit-ups, and squats to your exercise routine.

Keep it colorful – Variety is the spice of life, so ensure that your diet includes plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables – at least five servings per day – as well as whole grains and other healthy choices.

Mountaineer maniacs beware – While some stress can enhance performance, too much takes a mental and physical toll. Learn to manage stress levels to prevent anxiety, depression, and other conditions. If you feel stressed, talk with someone. If you can’t seem to shake the anxiety, seek professional help.

Kick the habit – Smoking is the primary cause of lung cancer, and lung cancer is the leading cause of all cancer deaths in the U.S. for men and women. If you’re having trouble “kicking the habit,” talk with your doctor.

Practice sun sense – Use sunscreen! Long-term sun exposure can cause premature changes in the skin, including wrinkles. It can also increase the risk of cataracts and certain other eye problems, and suppress the immune system. The biggest risk associated with sun exposure is skin cancer.

Take a time out – Sleep deprivation can take a toll on your physical and emotional health. While the stresses of daily life can impact sleep, some people may have undiagnosed sleep disorders. Talk with your doctor if you’re having trouble sleeping. Try and get seven hours of sleep per night.

Tailgate – Travel, join a club, take a class – and tailgate at WVU football games! Social activities are good for your physical and mental health. Make sure you have fun every day.

This blog was approved by Dana King, MD, MS, a WVU Medicine family medicine physician.