Controlling one's blood pressure has long been known to help reduce cardiovascular disease as well as other health concerns. It is subsequently vital to know one's blood pressure.
The American Heart Association recently changed the optimal parameters for blood pressure lowering numbers from from 140/90 to 120/80. Various changes to one's lifestyle might include lowering salt intake, increasing exercise, losing weight, quitting smoking, and relieving stress.This modification in the ideal blood pressure range means 46 percent of U.S. adults are identified as having high blood pressure, compared with 32 percent under the previous definition. A blood pressure of less than 120/80 still will be considered normal, but levels at or above that, to 129, will be called “elevated.”
Of particular concern, under these new guidelines;
1. High blood pressure rates could nearly triple among men age 20 to 44 – up to 30 percent from 11 percent. Women in that age group will see their rates almost double, to 19 percent from 10 percent.
2. Roughly three-quarters of men between 55 and 74 could be diagnosed with high blood pressure.
3. Black and Hispanic men will experience a 17 percent increase in rates. Asian men will see a 16 percent increase.
Remember to check your blood pressure regularly, reduce stress, eat healthy, and get plenty of exercise!
February is heart health awareness month. With heart disease on the rise, attention to physical activity and diet and nutrition is vital. Various benefits of cardiovascular activity include the following:
1. Decreases risk of coronary artery disease and stroke.
2.. Reduces symptoms and decreases chances of another heart attack
3. Improves heart and lung performance while creating healthy habits
4. Improves blood pressure, blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels
5. Maintains a healthy body weight
6.. Increases energy and stamina while decreasing stress levels
The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as brisk walking and at least 75 minutes of vigorous activity, or an equal combination of both. However, it is important to remember that patients and individuals with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions and/or specific medical questions or needs should consult with their physician regarding what type of physical activity is safe for them.
Tracy A. Jones is an American Heart Association, ASHI, and American Red Cross Master Program Trainer, Instructor, & AHA Faculty Member located in San Antonio, Texas.