February is American Heart Month. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) 1 in 3 Americans (an estimated 68 million people) have high blood pressure. This is bad because high blood pressure can lead to a heart attack or stroke, the first and third leading causes of death in America. (Source: CDC.gov – click here.)
If you have high blood pressure you might be feeling overwhelmed or discouraged. The good news is that heart disease is both controllable and preventable; you just have to decide to take control of your health. You can do it!
Talk to your doctor to find out what treatments are right for you and get your blood pressure monitored. Here are some suggestions for how to lower your blood pressure from the Mayo Clinic. (Source: Mayo Clinic – click here.)
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Exercise 30-60 minutes per day
- Eat a well balanced diet
- Limit alcohol
- Cut your sodium. Do not add salt. Avoid processed food.
- Don’t use tobacco products
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Doctors, dietitians/nutritionists and personal trainers can work with you to figure out strategies for getting your heart health in order. Friends and family can be a support group for you to make lifestyle changes.
Be good to yourself.
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