May is National Blood Pressure Month and a good reminder to keep your blood pressure on the right track. In the United States, about 70 million people have high blood pressure — that’s one in three adults! High blood pressure can lead to heart disease, stroke and other serious health risks. Twenty percent of people who have high blood pressure aren’t even aware of it. The American Heart Association suggests adults, starting at the age of 20, get a blood pressure screening during a yearly doctor visit.
The ideal blood pressure reading is 120/80 mm Hg. If your readings are always above normal or reach 140/90 mm Hg, your provider will most likely start treatment. This may involve prescription medication and/or lifestyle changes. You can make a number of lifestyle changes to lower your blood pressure.
To Help Prevent or Lower High Blood Pressure You Can:
- Eat a healthy diet and reduce sodium
- Increase your physical activity
- Avoid tobacco use
- Limit alcohol intake
- Manage and lower stress