Last month, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology changed guidelines for recognizing high blood pressure, a move that is expected to increase the number of people diagnosed with the condition by 43 percent.
Under the old guidelines, 140/90 was the threshold for high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. New guidelines will lower the threshold to 130/80. Knowing your numbers and seeking treatment for high blood pressure, which typically has no symptoms, is important. Hypertension is the second only to smoking as a preventable cause of heart attack and strokes.
Worth noting is that in 2015 Kentucky ranked among the top 10 states in rates of hypertension. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
By knowing your blood pressure, you can act to lower it or prevent hypertension. We all know that exercising and eating a diet low in salt, high in fiber and rich in fruits and vegetables go a long way in staying healthy. If those measures aren’t enough, medication may help, but only your doctor will know what’s best for your situation.
If you need help in learning how to eat right or in developing an exercise habit, ElderServe has programs that can support you in your journey toward a healthy lifestyle:
Healthy Habits is a series of workshops held throughout Jefferson County. Each session includes a healthy snack, recipe ideas, a nutrition lesson and low-impact exercise. Click here to see the Healthy Habits schedule.
Active Choices is aimed at older adults who can’t get out much. ElderServe’s fitness coach will meet with you to develop a personalized plan to add physical activity daily, and then provide follow-up support by phone.
Our Senior Center also offers several fitness classes, including yoga, tai chi, aerobics and exercise for arthritis sufferers. Health screenings are offered at various times throughout the year, as well – so you can check your progress in maintaining a healthy blood pressure.
You can’t put a price on good health, but these programs are free, so at least your wallet won’t feel the pressure.