February is American Heart Month!
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US. As an effort to help keep you healthy, February is American Heart Month. Nearly 67 million people in the US have high blood pressure. High blood pressure significantly increases your risk of stroke and other heart related issues. Heart Month strives to keep heart disease under control by preventing one million heart attacks by 2017. Whether or not you have high blood pressure, check out how you can keep your heart healthy with these heart healthy tips.
High blood pressure occurs when your heart works too hard to push blood through your arteries. Eventually too much pressure starts to stress your cardiovascular system and leads to heart disease. Per the Mayo Clinic, high blood pressure is defined as pressure above 140/90.
- Visit your doctor. Often high blood pressure comes without any symptoms. Have your blood pressure checked by your doctor annually to ensure that your blood pressure is normal.
- Eliminate your risk factors. While high blood pressure can be a genetic condition, there are external factors like diet and stress that can increase your blood pressure. Quit smoking, limit the amount of salt in your diet, and keep your stress to a minimum to keep your blood pressure under control.
- Stay active. Regular exercise can help to keep your blood pressure in check. You don’t have to be running marathons to stay healthy, a brisk walk should do the trick.
- In the event that you do have high blood pressure, follow your doctor’s instructions. Take the appropriate medications as directed by your physician.