At every check-up, one of the routine steps is a blood pressure check. Why is it so important?
High blood pressure is the single biggest risk factor for heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems. But high blood pressure has no symptoms. The only way to know you have it is to check regularly.
A normal blood pressure reading is 120 over 80. While there is some variation from person to person, if your blood pressure is much higher than this, your health care provider will talk with you about the consequences of high blood pressure.
Fortunately, you can manage your blood pressure by adopting a healthy lifestyle:
- Cut back on red meat and salt
- Get regular aerobic exercise
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Don’t smoke
- Drink alcohol in moderation
If lifestyle adjustments don’t bring your blood pressure close to the normal range, talk to your provider about medication that might help.
Blood pressure is just one indicator of heart health. With attention to your lifestyle and medications if necessary, you can take action to lower your risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke and kidney disease.