You know your blood type, your credit score, even how many steps you take in a day- but do you know what your blood pressure is?
May is National Blood Pressure Month, which means it’s a great time to get familiar with the number which can mean the difference between a healthy, active lifestyle, and risk of heart attack or stroke.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 3 adults in the United States have high blood pressure – that’s 67 million people!
Even if we lead a healthy lifestyle and have not experienced blood pressure problems throughout our lifetimes, the risk of developing high blood pressure increases as we get older.
So what can you do to lower your risk?
- Know what your blood pressure is – and what your doctor recommends it should be.
- If you smoke – QUIT! People who smoke are more likely to develop high blood pressure than their non-smoking counterparts.
- Reduce sodium. While we do need some sodium in our diets to maintain health, most Americans consume too much, and that increases their risk of developing high blood pressure.
- Maintain a healthy body weight.
- Exercise. Medical professionals recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, most days of the week.
- Eat a healthy diet that is filled with fruits and vegetables, and low in saturated fats and trans fats – and of course, sodium.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
- Reduce stress.
- Monitor your blood pressure at home, and let your doctor know about any changes.
- If prescribed medication, take it as directed. In 2014, the American Medical Group Foundation is sponsoring its first ever “Measure Up/Pressure Down National Day of Action: Roll Up Your Sleeves!” on Thursday, May 15, during which communities and health care providers are encouraged to raise awareness about the risks of high blood pressure, and to help individuals learn what their blood pressure is, and how to improve it or reduce their risks.
Windsong Communities is certainly doing its part to help homeowners live healthier. With stress-free lawn maintenance, relaxing private courtyards, and sidewalks and clubhouse fitness centers that encourage exercise, our homeowners can participate in several risk-lowering activities without ever leaving their homes!
Welcome home to Windsong – Where Life’s A Breeze!