By Susan Pasqual, MSN, RN, CNSC, Director of TLS Weight Loss Solution Field Development and Sales
Blood pressure is closely related to the force and rate of the heartbeat, as well as the diameter and elasticity of the arterial walls. The Center of Disease Control (CDC) states that 1 out of 3 Americans have high blood pressure (or hypertension), which is having a BP of 140/90 or higher. If a person eats unhealthily, leads an unhealthy lifestyle, is sedentary or carries other risk factors, they may be predisposed to high blood pressure. When plaque lines the arterial walls the walls become narrower, making it more difficult for blood to flow through. This means that the heart has to work harder to pump blood through the body. When the arteries are constantly put under pressure they can fail. Having high blood pressure puts a person at risk for heart disease and stroke, according to the American Heart Association.
High blood pressure is often called the silent killer, because a person may not know that they have high blood pressure. It is important to have your blood pressure checked regularly by your health care provider. A normal blood pressure is considered less than 120/80. Blood pressure that is between 120-139/80-89 is considered pre-hypertension.
5 tips to help you keep your blood pressure under control:
- Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
- Participate in 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week
- Eat a healthy diet that contains fruits, vegetables, good fats, and lean sources of protein
- Limit the amount of alcohol you drink
- Check your blood pressure regularly