High blood pressure over the holidays

High blood pressure over the holidays
December 22
04:00 2016



The holidays are all about enjoying those you love. Oh and let’s not forget about all of the delicious food. Although, the holidays are very exciting they can sometimes be a little stressful at times. Did you know that hypertension (high blood pressure) is one of the most important causes of premature death worldwide? About 75 million American adults have high blood pressure. In a study conducted in Forsyth County 31.2 percent of respondents have blood pressure compared to 38.6 percent in Guilford County and 31.9 percent in Iredell County.

There are several factors that can play a role in high blood pressure. These factors may include smoking, unhealthy diets, lack of physical activity, stress and genetics. High blood pressure can be managed by exercising on a regular basis, maintaining a heart healthy diet, limiting alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, reducing stress and regular doctor visits.

Adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle will enable you to reduce high blood pressure, prevent or delay the development of high blood pressure, enhance the effectiveness of blood pressure medications, and lower your risk of heart attack, heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.

The holidays can be extremely stressful because there are normally a million things that need to be done. Whether it is last minute shopping, grocery store runs, preparing dinner, traveling, or even certain relatives, your blood pressure is bound to rise. In order to manage your stress during the holidays there are a few tips to know. Make a planner or to-do-list so that you are able to prioritize and manage your time better. Set aside your differences with your relatives. Holidays only come once a year, so what’s a few days. Maintain your heart healthy diet, even though it may be hard to resist grandma’s famous sweet potato pie.

Check. Change. Control is a program designed to eliminate high blood pressure as a health disparity among Americans. The program allows individuals to practice self-management skills related to blood pressure. It engages participants by emphasizing three important aspects of managing hypertension.

The first is “Checking” for high blood pressure and symptoms.

The second “Changing” lifestyle and seeking treatment.

The third “Controlling” hypertension by taking preventative measures.

Please also click this link for 5 Blood Pressure Tips This Holiday Season!

Shakia Flythe is with the American Heart Association in the Triad, based in Greensboro.

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