Our focus is a healthy heart as we celebrate American Heart Month this February. We are encouraging all of our patients to know their blood pressure, and if it’s high, to make blood pressure control their goal. Having high blood pressure puts you at a greater risk for other health problems.
The heart beats an average of 60-80 beats per minute, which can add up to millions of beats in just one month. When something works this hard, it is important that it also works efficiently. The heart pushes blood and oxygen to every cell in the body to be used as fuel and carries waste away. Without this process, the body cannot function. The heart plays a role in many aspects of your health and wellness.
More than 67 million Americans have high blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are four times more likely to die from a stroke and three times more likely to die from heart disease, compared to those with normal blood pressure.
High blood pressure often shows no signs or symptoms, which is why checking your blood pressure regularly is important. It’s easy to get your blood pressure checked. You can get screened at your doctor’s office and drugstore or even check it yourself at home, using a home blood pressure monitor.
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure:
- chest pain
- irregular heartbeat
- vision problems
- severe headaches
- difficulty breathing
Ways to Lower Your Risk of High Blood Pressure
- Quit or avoid smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke
- Watch your weight
- Stay active
- Eat healthy
- Lower your stress levels
- Control your cholesterol and blood pressure
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation
Ways to Control High Blood Pressure:
- Ask your doctor what your blood pressure should be. Set a goal to lower your pressure with your doctor and talk about how you can reach your goal. Work with your healthcare team to make sure you meet that goal. Track your blood pressure over time.
- Take your blood pressure medicine as directed. Set a timer on your phone to remember to take your medicine at the same time each day. If you are having trouble taking your medicine on time or paying for your medicines, or if you are having side effects, ask your doctor for help.
- Quit smoking – and if you don’t smoke, don’t start. You can find tips and resources at the CDC’s Smoking and Tobacco website.
- Reduce sodium intake. Most Americans consume too much sodium, which can raise blood pressure.
Physical Therapy for High Blood Pressure
The most effective way to lower your blood pressure is with exercise. Exercising helps your heart grow stronger and a stronger heart uses less energy to pump blood through the body. Our physical therapist at Memphis PT will evaluate you and create a specific treatment plan for you and your needs.
Click here for tips to stay active!