Lower High Blood Pressure
Did you know that the top risk factor determining whether you will have a heart attack or stroke is actually something you can control? In the United States, 69 percent of people who have a heart attack and 77 percent of people who have a stroke have high blood pressure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thankfully, high blood pressure is mostly preventable.
“Half of U.S. adults 65 and older have high blood pressure, but it can be effectively managed through lifestyle changes,” says Janel Jurosky, R.N., MSN, Wise and Well program coordinator at Mills-Peninsula Senior Focus.
High blood pressure is considered 140/90 or higher.
Tips to prevent or lower high blood pressure:
- Get your weight within a healthy range. Being overweight or obese is the number one modifiable risk factor for high blood pressure. Reducing excess weight, even a little bit, is one of the most effective ways to reduce blood pressure.
- Exercise. In addition to the benefits of weight reduction and improved mood, regular physical activity is effective in lowering blood pressure.
- Eat well. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy foods and with reduced saturated and total fat can substantially lower blood pressure. Also, reduce sodium intake and limit alcohol use.
- Get checked. Because it often has no signs or symptoms, many people don’t realize they have high blood pressure. It is important to get checked regularly.
In January 2014, Senior Focus will introduce the new Wise and Well Heart Smart program focused on controlling high blood pressure. The new program provides monthly health screenings for blood pressure and body mass index (BMI).
The program will be held 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on the following days of the month at these sites:
- First Thursday: Lincoln Park Community Center, 901 Brunswick Avenue, Daly City
- Second Monday: Menlo Park Senior Center, 100 Terminal Avenue, Menlo Park
- Second Thursday: Martin Luther King Community Center, 725 Monte Diablo Ave, San Mateo
- Third Tuesday: Senior Coastsiders, 535 Kelly Avenue, Half Moon Bay (new location opening in 2014)
- Fourth Thursday: East Palo Alto Senior Center, 560 Bell Street, East Palo Alto
- Last Friday: San Bruno Senior Center, 1555 Crystal Springs Road, San Bruno
For more information about the Heart Smart program, call 650-696-3660.