Know your numbers for the New Year!
High blood pressure is the leading cause of heart attack, stroke, heart failure and kidney failure. Lowering high blood pressure helps keep your arteries healthy and is the single best thing you can do for your health. The American Heart Association recommends a blood pressure of less than 120/80 for non-diabetic adults and less than 130/80 for diabetics.
Simple steps to achieve a healthier blood pressure:
- Monitor your pressure. Measuring your blood pressure is quick and painless. Sit quietly for a few minutes before taking the reading, AND support your arm at the level of your heart during monitoring.
- Take your blood pressure medication as prescribed. If you cannot afford your medications or if you do not like the side effects of the medications, tell your doctor. Many drugs used to treat high blood pressure are available in generic formulas sold at reduced co-pays.
- Make these healthy lifestyle changes:
- Achieve a normal body weight.
- Participate in some form of physical activity each day (Ask your doctor if you are healthy enough to exercise).
- Reduce your salt intake to 1500 milligrams a day. Watch out for fast foods, processed and prepackaged foods which are often high in salt.
- If you smoke- STOP.
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