In some ways, the fifth step is number one! Go to My Life Check.org and click on The Simple Seven and you’ll be taken to the fifth step: Manage Blood Pressure. So although it’s number 5 on their list of seven, which also includes Get Active, Eat Better, Lose Weight, Control Cholesterol, Reduce Blood Sugar and Stop Smoking, it may be the most important for heart health.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is “the single most significant risk factor for heart disease. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can injure or kill you.” The American Heart Association also explains that it's sometimes called “the silent killer” because it has no symptoms. They say one in three adults has high blood pressure, yet, about 21% don’t even know they have it. Of those with high blood pressure, 69% are receiving treatment, yet, only 45% have their blood pressure controlled.
“While there is no cure, high blood pressure is manageable. Even if your blood pressure is normal and your goal is prevention only, the lifestyle modifications provide a prescription for healthy living. These changes may reduce your blood pressure without the use of prescription medications: eating a heart healthy diet, which may include reducing salt; enjoying regular physical activity; maintaining a healthy weight; managing stress; limiting alcohol; avoiding tobacco smoke.”
See? The Seven Simple Steps are your natural prescription for a healthy lifestyle.
For more information on blood pressure look for the link to the right of the Simple Step page. Clicking it will take you to a page with topics to explore like:
- About High Blood Pressure (HBP)
- Why HBP Matters
- Your Risk for HBP
- Symptoms, Diagnosis & Monitoring of HBP
- Prevention & Treatment of HBP
Use the My Life Check tool to help you monitor your progress as the Seven Simple Steps help you improve your heart health!