Reducing high blood pressure can lower your risk for stroke and heart attack.
Less is better in some things, including in blood pressure. About 1 of 3 US adults have high blood pressure. High blood pressure makes your heart work too hard and increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.
You can have high blood pressure and not know it. That is why it is called the silent killer. It is also why it is so important to have your blood pressure checked. If you know family or friends who haven’t had their blood pressure checked recently, make it a point to ask them to do it in May: National High Blood Pressure Education Month.
It is easy to check blood pressure and it is painless. Bethesda Home Health is offering free screenings this May to our residents, tenants, clients, families and the general public! We encourage you to take part in one of the following blood pressure clinics:
May 6: Centennial Square | 1109 9th Street SE, Willmar MN | 2-3 PM
May 11: Club Bethesda | 901 Willmar Ave SE, Ste. 2, Willmar, MN | 9:30 – 10:30 AM
May 14: Bethesda Heritage | 1012 3rd St. SE, Willmar MN | 2-3 PM
May 19 Bethesda Pleasant View | 901 Willmar Ave SE, Willmar, MN | 2-3 PM
If your blood pressure is less than 120 systolic and less than 80 diastolic, then your blood pressure is normal; between 120 and 139 systolic and 80–89 diastolic, you have prehypertension. Systolic of 140 or greater, or diastolic that is 90 or greater, is hypertension.
If you have high blood pressure, there are steps you can take to get it under control, including—
- Ask your doctor what your blood pressure should be. Set a goal to lower your pressure with your doctor and then discuss how you can reach your goal. Work with your health care team to make sure you meet that goal.
- Take your blood pressure medication as directed. If you are having trouble, ask your doctor what you can do to make it easier. For example, you may want to discuss your medication schedule with your doctor if you are taking multiple drugs at different times of the day.
- Quit smoking—and if you don’t smoke, don’t start.
- Reduce sodium. Most Americans consume too much sodium, and it raises blood pressure in most people.
There are other healthy habits, that can help 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 it as directed.
- If you have a family member who has high blood pressure, you can help by taking many of the steps listed above with them. Go for walks together or cook meals with lower sodium. Make it a family affair!
- Check your blood pressure regularly.
We hope to see you at one of Bethesda’s free blood pressure clinics! For more information, contact Shannon Lanzrath, Director of Home Health at 320-235-8364.