Care for Seniors in San Diego County: May is Blood Pressure Awareness Month

May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month. About 74.5 million people in the United States have high blood pressure, which is also called hypertension. Hypertension increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, the first and third leading causes of death in the United States.

Blood pressure is written as two numbers. The first (systolic) number represents the pressure when the heart beats. The second (diastolic) number represents the pressure when the heart rests between beats.

Blood pressure that is slightly higher than normal is called prehypertension. People with prehypertension are more likely to develop high blood pressure than are people with normal blood pressure levels.

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, and kidney disease.

Also, statistics show that high blood pressure was a primary or contributing cause of death for 326,000 Americans in 2006.

You can maintain healthy blood pressure through changing your lifestyle or by combining lifestyle changes with prescribed medications.

Key lifestyle changes include the following:

  • Have your blood pressure checked regularly.
  • Maintain a normal body weight (body mass index of 18.5-24.9 which is kilograms divided by height in meters squared).
    • Keep up physical activity (2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) every week and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest,  shoulders, and arms).
    • Follow a healthy eating plan of a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low in sodium.
    • Quit smoking.
    • If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation (≤ 2 drinks per day for men and ≤ 1 drinks per day for women).
  • If you have high blood pressure and are prescribed medication’s), take as directed.

Read more: May is Blood Pressure Awareness Month

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Tim Colling

Tim Colling is the founder and President of A Servant's Heart In-Home Care, which provided in-home caregiving services in San Diego County, and also of A Servant's Heart Geriatric Care Management, which provided
professional geriatric care management services and long term care placement services in San Diego County. Tim has more than 30 years of experience in management in a variety of industries. He held a Certified Care Manager credential from the National Academy of Certified Care Managers. Tim is also a Certified Public Accountant (retired), and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from California State University at San Diego. In addition to writing blog posts here for the Servant’s Heart blog, Tim also is a regular contributor to HealthLine.com and to FamilyAffaires.com as well as blogs of other eldercare services provider companies. Finally, Tim is also the president of A Servant's Heart Web Design and Marketing, which provides home care marketing as well as website design and online marketing for those who serve the elderly and their families.

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