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Our bodies are made up of arteries and veins, which, as we get older, can thicken with plaque and cholesterol. This makes them stiffer and narrower. This can restrict blood flow and lead to vascular disease.

These are the important components of maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle:

Eat a healthy diet. Making healthy meal and snack choices can help you avoid heart disease and its complications. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Eating foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol and high in fiber. This can help prevent high blood cholesterol. Limiting salt or sodium in your diet can also lower your blood pressure.

Getting your blood pressure checked is important because high blood pressure often has no symptoms. Stay informed through recent studies from organizations such as the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Your doctor can measure your blood pressure, or you can use a machine available at many pharmacies. You can also use a home monitoring device to measure your blood pressure.

You can reduce your risk of diabetes by eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and being physically active.

About 60 percent of people who have diabetes also have high blood pressure. If you have diabetes, you can lower your risk for high blood pressure by living a healthy lifestyle.

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