It’s no coincidence that May is both American Stroke Month and National High Blood Pressure Education Month. If you read our blog from earlier this month, you’ll know that they’re directly connected.
Uncontrolled high blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke and heart disease and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 11 million U.S. adults aren’t even aware they suffer from the condition.
‘The Silent Killer’
High blood pressure so often goes unnoticed because it doesn’t usually show signs or symptoms. You could feel perfectly normal and still be at an increased risk for stroke or heart disease.
And it doesn’t just happen to older people. Research from the CDC shows that one in four men and nearly one in five women age 35 to 44 have high blood pressure. The longer it goes untreated, the greater the risk. That’s why it’s essential to get your blood pressure checked at least once a year.
How Do I Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure?
Your blood pressure is affected by a wide range of factors, including family history, so we strongly encourage you to speak with your doctor and get your blood pressure checked by a professional before pursuing any reduction methods on your own.
There are several lifestyle decisions you can make to help keep your blood pressure in a healthy range and reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease:
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Get regular physical activity
- Take time to meditate and de-stress
- Don’t smoke
- Limit alcohol consumption
Looking for more ways to lower your blood pressure?
Join the American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good™ Movement. This online community will keep you up to date with shareable tips, videos and easy-to-understand science news on how to live healthy, both in body and mind.
By working together and spreading awareness, we can save lives and build a happier, healthier community. And we’ll do our part to support the American Stroke Association’s mission to end stroke.