May is Blood Pressure Awareness Month, and it’s also a great time to think about your blood pressure health. According to the American Heart Association, one out of three Americans has high blood pressure, so the chances are high that you or someone in your family are all too familiar with this condition. Making lifestyle choices is important to regulate blood pressure and live a healthy life. This information can help you understand why blood pressure matters and what you can do to prevent it.
Know Your Numbers
High blood pressure occurs when the force of your blood against artery walls is, well, too forceful. Some people have high blood pressure but have not noticed any symptoms to alert them. High blood pressure crosses all gender, race, and socioeconomic classes; factors such as lifestyle choices, excessive weight, advanced age, and family history can also increase your risk of high blood pressure.
What’s the Big Deal
Over time, elevated or untreated blood pressure can cause damage throughout the body, resulting in any one of the following health conditions:
- Heart Disease
- Kidney Failure
Some of these concerns can be life-threatening, but fortunately, you may be able to slow or even reverse some of the health problems by regulating blood pressure.
Take a Step
By making even the smallest changes in habits and diet, you may be able to prevent high blood pressure without the need for medication. Here are a few suggestions that can help:
- Lose weight – even a minor weight loss, such as ten percent of your body weight, can make a difference
- Get regular exercise – moderate amounts of physical activity, even walking, are steps in the right direction
- Monitor your blood pressure – keep track of blood pressure at home and keep a record to share with a doctor
- Aim for moderation – limit your caffeine and alcohol intake because both can raise your blood pressure; the same goes for sodium
- No smoking – Smoking offers no health benefits for anyone; if you smoke, it is time to stop
- Try a DASH diet – DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, and it emphasizes lean meats, fresh fruits and veggies, and whole grains over high-fat and processed foods
- Lower stress – Nothing can get your blood pressure up like stress, so try to provide a calm and supportive environment
Would the support of a caregiver improve the health of a senior in your life? Home Helpers of Drexel Hill is dedicated to preserving quality of life for seniors and peace of mind for families. Contact us to learn more about how our services can help your family.