Day 14: Interview Your Relatives
Your family history provides hints about what your genes might have in store for you. Talk to your relatives (including cousins, great-uncles, great-aunts) about any serious illnesses they've suffered. The U.S. Surgeon General offers an online tool (familyhistory.hhs.gov) that will compile your notes into a report, which you can then print for your doctor. If any of these issues run in your family, it's never too early to start reducing your risk:
Check your blood pressure every year, and follow your doctor's orders: Even a five-point reduction in your systolic pressure can translate to a 9 percent drop in your risk of coronary heart disease and a 14 percent drop in your risk of dying from stroke.
The American Institute for Cancer Research estimates that 38 percent of breast cancer cases could be prevented by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, and drinking less alcohol.
Commit to losing belly fat, a predictor of the disease. For postmenopausal women, strength training is especially important because muscle, which we lose with age, burns more calories than fat.