Up & Coming Weekly

March 07, 2023

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM 18 UCW MARCH 8 - 14, 2023 HEALTH Steps to take to help manage your blood pressure by StatePoint STAFF REPORT High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects nearly half of adults in the United States, and only about 1 in 4 with this condition have it under control, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hypertension can be dangerous and in many cases, fatal. Medical experts say that controlling your blood pressure is possible and it starts with having the right informa- tion. "High blood pressure is a 'silent killer,' often having no overt symp- toms, but increases the likelihood of heart attack, stroke and other seri- ous health risks," says Jack Resneck Jr., M.D., president of the American Medical Association. "I urge you to know your numbers and make the lifestyle changes that can help control your blood pressure and live a long and healthy life." To get on the right track, consider these tips from the AMA: Know your numbers. Hyperten- sion is diagnosed when your sys- tolic blood pressure is greater than 130 mmHg or your average diastolic blood pressure is greater than 80 mmHg. Visit ManageYourBP.org to better understand your numbers. Monitor blood pressure. Take and keep regular records using an at-home blood pressure monitor. For an accurate reading, the CDC says to sit with your back supported for 5 minutes before starting and wait at least 30 minutes after drink- ing or eating a meal. You should also avoid stimulants for at least 30 minutes beforehand, as the CDC says that smoking and drinking alcohol or caffeine can elevate your blood pressure. If you take medi- cation for hypertension, measure your blood pressure before your dose. Share your numbers with your health care provider. Eat right. Reduce your intake of processed foods, especially those with added sodium and sugar. Eat less red meat and processed meats, and add more plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and olive oil to your diet. Also, reduce your consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and drink more water instead. Drinking sugary beverages, even 100% fruit juices, is associated with a higher all-cause mortality risk, according to a study published in JAMA Net- work Open. Drink alcohol only in modera- tion. If consuming alcohol, do so in moderation as defined by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans — up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. Be more physically active. Do at least 150 minutes a week of moder- ate-intensity activity, or 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity activity. Be sure to include a mix of cardio- vascular exercise, strength training and flexibility. Obtain guidance from your doctor if you aren't sure if it is safe for you to exercise. Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, losing as little as 5 to 10 pounds may help lower your blood pressure. "Unmanaged hypertension can have life-altering consequences," says Resneck. "e good news is that there are many ways you can take control of your blood pres- sure and your health." Medical experts say controlling your blood pres- sure starts with having the right information.

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