Make it a goal to get your blood pressure checked during May for National High Blood Pressure Education Month. It’s easy to check blood pressure and it’s painless. It can be checked by your doctor, and many pharmacies have free screening stations. Blood pressure stations can be found within most stores that have a pharmacy department such as CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens.
High Blood Pressure Education Month encourages you to examine your daily routine which may be contributing to high blood pressure. Lifestyle changes which can help reduce blood pressure include; maintaining a healthy body weight, regular exercise, quitting smoking and following a healthy low-sodium diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables.
Understanding Blood Pressure Readings
What do the blood pressure numbers mean? Blood pressure is typically recorded as two numbers, written as a ratio like this:
Incorporating these healthy habits can help you keep your blood pressure under control:
- Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
- Participate in 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week.
- Eat a healthy diet that is high in fruits and vegetables and low in sodium, saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol.
- Manage stress.
- Limit the amount of alcohol you drink (no more than one drink each day for women and two for men).
- If you have high blood pressure and are prescribed medication, take as directed.
- Check your blood pressure regularly.SOURCE: American Heart Association, CDC, WhatHealth
Note: If you have an existing condition, such as hypertension (high blood pressure) or diabetes, your doctor will advise you on the blood pressure level that is best for your individual health needs