GET TO THE HEART OF IT: Managing Blood Pressure, Cholesterol and Diabetes

Lifestyle For a Healthy Heart


If your doctor prescribes medication to help bring down your blood pressure and cholesterol:

  • Take your medication as prescribed.
  • Try to take them at the same time every day.
  • Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Managing stress

Stress can be hard on your heart health. Here are some tips to help you cope with it:

  • Physical activity and healthy eating help relieve stress and improve heart health at the same time.
  • Socializing and laughter are great stress relievers.
  • Try listening to music, meditation, or yoga.
  • Avoid unhealthy stress busters such as smoking, alcohol, and poor food choices. Look for a support group in your community.
  • Make time for yourself!

Be a non-smoker

Smoking affects blood pressure in two ways:

  • Nicotine in cigarette smoke causes blood vessels to narrow. This increases blood pressure.
  • When you smoke, the drugs you take to control blood pressure do not work as well.

Ask your health care team about local programs and medications that can help you to quit.

Learn more about smoking and diabetes

Be careful with alcohol

Drinking alcohol can cause 3 problems:

  • It interferes with the blood flow to and from the heart. This raises blood pressure.
  • It can make blood glucose levels either too high or too low.
  • It can lead to high triglycerides 

Talk to your health care team about whether it is safe for you to drink alcohol, and how much.

Learn more about alcohol and diabetes