Reduce Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Have your blood pressure checked regularly. If your blood pressure is less than 130/85 mmHG, have it rechecked in two years. If it's between 130-139/85-89, have it rechecked in a year. If your blood pressure is 140/90 or higher, you have high blood pressure and should follow your doctor's advice. If blood pressure medication is prescribed for you, remember to take it.
- Stay physically active. Physical inactivity, besides being a risk factor for heart disease, contributes to other risk factors including obesity, high blood pressure and a low level of HDL cholesterol. To condition your heart, try to get 30-60 minutes of exercise 3-4 times a week.
- Quit smoking for good. Many programs are available to help.
- Even low-intensity activities, such as walking for pleasure, gardening, yard work, housework, dancing and prescribed home exercise when performed daily, can have some long-term health benefits.
- Always check with your physician before starting any exercise program.
- Lose weight if necessary. For many people, losing weight is one of the most effective ways to improve their blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Reduce high blood cholesterol through your diet. If you're overweight or eat foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol (whole milk, cheese, eggs, butter, fatty foods, fried foods), then make changes in your diet. Pick up your "Healthy Heart Cookbook" from Doctors Hospital of Sarasota.