If you have high blood pressure (also called hypertension), you’re hardly alone out there. About 1 in 3 U.S. adults share your condition.
And just because you don’t “feel” like you have high blood pressure doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. The condition is called the “silent killer” for a reason – many people who have it don’t even know it. The only way to be sure is to check your blood pressure regularly.
When you see your family doctor for your annual wellness exam, the visit typically begins with a blood pressure reading. Ideal blood pressure is below 120/80, while high blood pressure is above 140/90. The two respective numbers represent pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats (systolic) and when your heart rests (diastolic).
Why is controlling your blood pressure a big deal? By doing so, you reduce your risk of health disease and stroke, the first and third leading causes of death in the United States. Reducing pressure on your arteries also lowers your odds of aneurysms, dementia and cognitive impairment. So merely hoping for the best is not a wise strategy.
If you are at risk for high blood pressure, MedBen WellLiving can help. We provide personalized guidance from RN Health Consultants to assist you in bringing your blood pressure numbers back down to normal.
Take Control of Your Blood Pressure
Whether you’re at risk or not, these tips can keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.
- Maintain a healthy weight. If you’re overweight, losing as little as 10 pounds can help lower blood pressure.
- Limit the alcohol. No more than one drink a day for women, and two for men.
- Mind your diet. Get plenty of fruits and vegetables and limit your intake of excess calories, fat, and sugar.
- Cut back on salt. Avoid high-sodium foods and don’t add extra salt to meals.
- Work out regularly. Moderate exercise for about 30 minutes three times a week is a good start.
- Monitor blood pressure. Measure it regularly, either by your doctor or at home.
SOURCES: CDC, Everyday Health, Mayo Clinic (1,2)