If you have diabetes, coronary heart disease or other chronic conditions, these are things that you can do to keep your condition under control.
Have a balanced diet
Avoid foods high in cholesterol and saturated fats such as animal fats, whole milk products, eggs, red meat such as beef and lamb, coconut milk and palm oil.
Instead, choose lean meat, fish and low-fat dairy products and increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Watch your sugar intake as well, and opt for foods and drinks that are less sweet.
It is important to exercise at least three times a week. Although there are many kinds of physical activities you could do, walking is one of the best forms of exercise to do.
To find out which types of physical activities are suitable for you, check with your doctor.
Watch your weight
To give you a good idea of whether you are keeping a healthy weight, your Body Mass Index [weight (kg) / Height (m) x Height (m)] should not be more than 23.
For example, if you are 1.75m tall and weigh 73 kg, your BMI would be be 23.8 - indicating that you are slightly overweight. Your weight would need to be reduced to 70kg or below in order to be within the healthy BMI range of 18 - 23.
Take your medications
Coronary heart disease, diabetes mellitus and their associated risk factors are chronic diseases which require long term medication. Do not stop or reduce your dosage without consulting your doctor.
There is no single best way to quit smoking. However, if you have the will to quit, there are several effective methods.
Set a date that you will stop smoking. You can then gradually increase the delay in smoking the first cigarette of the day, or gradually smoke fewer cigarettes each day.
Tell your family and friends about your commitment to stop smoking. They can help encourage you, especially during the initial period when the craving for nicotine is the highest.
You can use a nicotine replacement technique or try stopping smoking abruptly.
Attend a smoking cessation programme to receive professional advice and help. For more information, please refer to www.hpb.gov.sg.
This article was contributed by National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) and is part of a series on heart health.