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Everyday Health

Checkup Chart

Check your body mass index (BMI), a measure of your body fat based on your height and weight. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute offers a BMI calculator at: http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/. Have your blood pressure checked at least every 2 years, a glucose tolerance test and your blood glucose levels at age 50 and a colonoscopy to check for polyps (precancerous growths) and/or colon cancer starting at age 50.

Women should have a mammogram every 1 to 2 years starting at age 40 or earlier, if your doctor advises and a pap smear every 1 to 3 years. They should also get their cholesterol checked starting at age 45 or earlier if you have complications like diabetes or high blood pressure. Women should also get a bone scan done at age 65 or earlier if you are 60 years old and weigh less than 154 pounds.

Men should check their cholesterol starting at age 35 or earlier, if your doctor advises. Men between the ages of 65 and 75 who have ever smoked (100 or more cigarettes during their lifetimes) should be screened for abdominal aortic aneurysms.

Good Nutrition

Every week, try to eat:

  • 3 cups of dark green vegetables
  • 2 cups of orange vegetables
  • 3 cups of legumes/beans
  • 3 cups of starchy vegetables such as potatoes or squash
  • 6½ cups of other vegetables
  • 3 or more ounces of whole-grain products a day
  • 3 cups of fat-free or low-fat milk a day or milk based products such as cheese and yogurt.

Take a proactive role in your long-term health

  • Protect your skin from the sun from sunburn and damage from UVA and UVC rays. Use a sunscreen daily with an SPF of at least 15.
  • Quit smoking. Reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke. Talk to your doctor about support groups and quit-smoking products
  • Take care of your teeth and gums. Have your teeth cleaned regularly, and work with your dentist to prevent and/or manage any periodontal problems.
  • Watch your weight. Try reducing your calorie intake by 500 to 1,000 calories a day. Increase your exercise time to 60 minutes a day. Consult your doctor before beginning any weight loss or exercise program.

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