Many people have high blood pressure without knowing it. Once you know about your condition, though, you can reduce your risk and live a healthier life. It takes proper treatment and some changes in your lifestyle. But it’s worth it!
By treating high blood pressure, you can help prevent a stroke, heart attack, heart failure or kidney failure. Here are steps you can take now:
• Lose weight if you’re overweight. - You are in the right place for an awesome start and lots of support with weight loss.
• Eat a healthy diet low in total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and salt. Emphasize fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products. - Try to read food labels so you’ll know which foods are high in sodium and fat. And learn to use herbs or salt substitutes in place of salt!
• Be more physically active. - An inactive lifestyle is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. It also tends to add to
obesity, which is a risk factor for high blood pressure. Regular physical activity helps to reduce blood pressure, control weight and reduce stress. It’s best to start slowly and do something you enjoy, like taking walks or riding
• Limit alcohol to no more than one drink per day for women or two drinks a day for men. (One drink is equal to
12 ounces of beer, 4 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits or 1 ounce of 100-proof spirits.)
• Take medicine the way your doctor tells you. - Your doctors may prescribe different types of medicine for you. Don’t be discouraged if you need to take blood pressure medicine from now on. Sometimes you can take smaller doses after your blood pressure is under control, but you may always need some treatment. What’s most important is that you take your medicine exactly the way your doctor tells you to. Never stop treatment on your own. If you have problems or side effects with your medicine, talk to your doctor. Not everyone needs medication for their blood pressure, but if you need to, it is far better to take the medication and control the condition to the very best of your ability.
• Know what your blood pressure should be and work to keep it at that level. – According to the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women website, the ideal blood pressure goal is a reading of 120/80 or less. Follow the tips above for reducing your blood pressure and use your Med Help blood pressure tracker to help you record your progress. You can find the Med Help blood pressure tracker here: http://www.medhelp.org/user_trackers/list/703362?personal_page_id=343483
Happy Valentines Day to you all! Only the best of heart health to you on each and every day….to your heart, every day is Valentine’s Day. ; )
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