Heart disease often takes the spotlight when it comes to preventing chronic conditions and making healthy choices. But it’s important to remember that type 2 diabetes is just as big a threat to your health.

Up to 30 million people in the U.S. are living with diabetes and millions more are at high risk of developing it. The good news is that you can reduce your risk by making a few simple changes to your lifestyle, most of which you can make right in the comfort of your own home.

What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood sugar is too high because your body either resists insulin or doesn’t produce enough of it. While diabetes can be caused by genetics, type 2 diabetes is often caused by lifestyle factors such as smoking and lack of exercise.

Type 2 diabetes doesn’t always have symptoms and many people aren’t aware that they have it until they show signs of diabetes-related health problems such as blurred vision, heart problems, kidney disease, or diabetic foot ulcers.

How can I prevent type 2 diabetes?

By making the right lifestyle choices to reduce your risk of diabetes, you actually hit two birds with one stone because you’re also reducing your risk of developing heart disease. Here are a few ways you can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease right at home:

  1. Avoid treating yourself with unhealthy food. It’s fine to indulge in unhealthy foods every once in a while, but it’s not good to use unhealthy food as a reward system. This is especially true if you’re prone to stress. Find other ways to reward yourself throughout the day that are better for your body.
  2. Order takeout from healthier places. Being able to order food to your house is great, but there are better things you can order than a greasy pizza. After all, the restaurant industry brought in $863 billion in sales this year and 200 million people visited a sit-down restaurant in 2018. Look for healthy restaurants in your area that are part of Uber Eats or GrubHub. Salads aren’t the only option available to you when you want to eat healthier.
  3. Make your kitchen somewhere you want to be. According to Consumer Affairs, one-third of respondents who recently updated their kitchens said they lived a healthier lifestyle after their renovation. You don’t need to completely renovate your own kitchen to live a healthier lifestyle (homeowners in the U.S. have already paid $88 billion in assessments toward community associations), but making your kitchen somewhere you’re happy to be can make a positive impact on your food choices. Update your wall art, put happy photos and quotes on your fridge, and add some fresh flowers. A kitchen you want to cook in is a kitchen you can be healthy in.
  4. Take up exercise you have fun with. If you look at exercise as something you absolutely need to do to prevent chronic health conditions and weight gain, you’ll never want to do it. So don’t look at exercise as a punishment or a requirement. Instead, find a type of exercise you enjoy doing. What’s more, if you don’t want to or if you can’t go to the gym, there are dozens of types of exercise you can do right at home. You can even stream classes online. Find what works for you.

It’s important to live a healthy lifestyle not only to prevent chronic heart conditions but also other health issues like type 2 diabetes. An estimated four in five older adults will battle at least one chronic condition as they age. Don’t let type 2 diabetes be yours. Fortunately, many of the positive changes you can make to your lifestyle to reduce your risk can be done right in the comfort of your own home.