If you didn’t have high blood pressure 3 months ago, you may now, even if your numbers haven’t changed. The American Heart Association released a new target for blood pressure measurements, that allows for earlier intervention.
Turning the tables on heart disease: High blood pressure (hypertension) is known as “the silent killer” because there are no symptoms or signs of a problem, (unless you regularly check your blood pressure numbers).
Healthy lifestyle behaviors that can control the risks of high blood pressure and diabetes include:
- Increasing physical activity – Exercise or physical activity is great for your heart in general, helps lower stress, and control high blood pressure while effecting weight management.
- Losing or maintaining a healthy weight – Obesity or extra weight puts an additional strain on your heart, that it is not designed to handle.
- Eating a healthy diet – The DASH diet plan is based on research and was developed to lower blood pressure without medication. DASH stands for Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension. It is rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat or nonfat dairy. It emphasizes whole grains and lean meats. Visit dashdiet.org for more information.
- Lower cholesterol – High triglycerides and low HDL (good cholesterol) increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Healthy eating, physical activity with reasonable weight, can help improve lipids.
- Being smoke free – Smoking is a proven risk factor for heart attack and stroke.
- Limit alcohol – Drinking to excess can cause blood pressure to rise dramatically.