Sometimes what you don’t know can kill you. This blog will talk about blood pressure, why it’s important and what you need to know to stay healthy. Approximately 1 in 3 American adults have high blood pressure. But, who is susceptible to getting high blood pressure? Everyone. It’s vital to know how to combat this silent killer before the damage becomes permanent. The good news is that everyone can take some steps towards helping themselves cope with high blood pressure if they’ve already got it!

How do you get high pressure? Well, there are a few different ways you can acquire high blood pressure throughout your lifetime. Unhealthy diet, such as one that is high in sodium will help contribute to high blood pressure over time. Physical inactivity is the second big factor which then leads to weight gain making the heart work even harder than before. Obesity, which is talking primarily about cholesterol levels within the blood making the heart work harder than before as well. The last two primary contributors to high blood pressure are alcohol and smoking. A few smaller and uncontrollable risk factors include genetics, sex and age. While this may seem like a lot of risk factors the first five are all controllable, which is the good news!

What are a few different ways to help lower my blood pressure? Because it is typically the silent killer and comes with no symptoms or side effects, the best practice is to get it check regularly. It’s recommended that once you hit age 20 you get your blood pressure checked on a regular basis. Eating a healthy diet, which will allow you to maintain a healthy weight and keep your cholesterol numbers in an ideal range as well. Physical activity is another excellent way to ensure your blood pressure sustained a healthy value. The last two main controllable factors are alcohol use and tobacco use. If you don’t smoke and limit alcohol consumption you have a decreased chance of getting high blood pressure.

What if my blood pressure is already in a good range? First of all this is great to know, that means you had your blood pressure checked. Secondly it means you can focus on those controllable risk factors to ensure that your numbers stays exactly where you’d like to be. Having good blood pressure helps you against other preventable health issues such as heart disease, metabolic syndrome and stroke to name a few. I challenge you within the next week to go find out your own blood pressure and take the necessary next steps towards embracing a healthy lifestyle.

If you’d like to learn more about the controllable factors associated with high blood pressure, please feel free to contact our Rise Vermont Health Coach at healthcoach@risevt.com