May is National Blood Pressure Education Month, but you should keep tabs on your blood pressure year-round. Nurse Rose Melendez, RN, tells us how to stay on top of our blood pressure.
Why is our blood pressure important?
Keeping tabs on your blood pressure is important because people with high blood pressure are at a greater risk for heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the U.S.
How common is high blood pressure?
Nurse Rose:Nearly half of all Americans have high blood pressure and it causes about 1,100 deaths per day in the U.S. It’s important to know your blood pressure and manage your levels.
What is considered a good blood pressure level?
Nurse Rose:When you have your blood pressure measured, you’ll see a top number and a bottom number. Your blood pressure can vary based on your age, health condition and medications, but generally:
- 120/80 or below is considered healthy, and
- 130/80 or above is considered high blood pressure.
You can have your blood pressure measured by your doctor or at many local pharmacies.
How can I keep my blood pressure in check?
Nurse Rose:To keep your blood pressure in-check, follow these tips.
- Get an annual physical and record your blood pressure number
- Take any medications as prescribed by your doctor to help manage blood pressure
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine
- Do not smoke
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Eat a healthy diet filled with lots of vegetables and fruits, and limiting processed foods
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes, three to five days per week