What can I do in my daily life to lower my risk of heart disease?
Even when you have several risk factors for heart disease, there are things you can do to improve your chances of avoiding it. You know you should eat healthy, exercise, and quit smoking. Here are some other steps you can take:
- Go for regular checkups: At least once a year, get a physical to make sure you haven’t developed any conditions that would put you at risk for heart disease, and to make sure you are controlling any conditions you already have.
- Keep tabs on your blood pressure and cholesterol: If you’re getting regular checkups, your doctor can help you track this, but you can also use a home blood pressure device or a blood pressure machine in a pharmacy. Your pharmacist can also check your blood pressure.
- Manage your diabetes: If you have diabetes, make sure you’re closely watching your blood sugar levels, eating well, and exercising.
- Don’t skip your medications: If you’re taking medications for blood pressure, cholesterol, or diabetes, take them as directed. If you’re having unpleasant side effects, don’t stop taking them. Instead, ask about other options.