Reduce your risk of heart disease with these tips from Dr. Pam Marcovitz, medical director of Ministrelli Womens Heart Center at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich.
- Know your numbers. Ask your doctor to test your cholesterol, triglyceride levels and blood pressure. Your total cholesterol level should be less than 200, triglycerides count should be less than 150 and blood pressure should be less than 120/80.
- Quit smoking. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about what tools are available to help you kick the habit now.
- Exercise. Engaging in some form of regular physical activity can help increase good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol. Build up to at least 30 minutes of a moderate-intensity activity such as brisk walking on most, if not all, days of the week. See your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen, especially if you have been sedentary.
- Take a daily baby aspirin. If you are 45 or older, talk to your doctor about taking a daily baby aspirin, which may help break up blood clots and keep blood flowing.