These five simple steps will help you lower your blood pressure and avoid heart problems.

Keep in Check

Monitoring your blood pressure at home (along with getting regular checkups) is a good place to start, explains the Mayo Clinic. “It can make certain your medications and lifestyle changes are working. [And] home blood pressure monitors are available widely and without a prescription.”

Get Moving

According to the folks at the American Heart Association: “Research has found that 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week can help lower blood pressure. Examples of moderate exercise include walking at a brisk pace, bicycling, raking leaves and gardening.”

Make a Dash

Per the CDC, “the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan is a healthy diet plan with a proven record of helping people lower their blood pressure.” It consists of eating more vegetables, fruits and whole grains as well as fish, poultry, beans and nuts.

Shake Salt

“Cutting your salt intake is probably the most important way to lower your blood pressure,” says Dr. Luke Laffin, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic. “In fact, studies show that a low-sodium diet has the same effect as one-and-a-half to two blood pressure medications.”

Reduce Stress

“Long-term stress can lead to high blood pressure,” say experts at Michigan’s Beaumont Health. “Practicing yoga, meditation or deep breathing [as well as] praying, journaling, laughing, listening to music, spending time with family and friends, and playing with animals can all help reduce your stress and lower blood pressure.”