Blood Pressure Facts

What is high blood pressure?

  • Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing outwards on your artery walls.
  • It's written as two numbers, for example: 112/78 mm Hg. 
  • High Blood Pressuremeans the pressure in your arteries is elevated.
  • The top number is the pressure when the heart beats.
  • The bottom number is the pressure when the heart rests between beats. 

Why does it matter?

  • High blood pressure increases the risk of having a heart attack, kidney disease, heart   failure, or stroke.
  • Almost one-third of U.S. adults have high blood pressure.
  • Every day, about 1,000 people in the U.S. die as a result of high blood pressure.

You’ve got the power! What can you do?

  • Know your numbers, get your blood pressure checked:
    • If you have normal blood pressure (top number less than 120 and bottom number less than 80), then you should get checked at least every two years.
    • If you are pre-hypertensive (top number between 120 -139 and bottom number between 80 -90), then you should get screened each year.
    • Local pharmacies often have free blood pressure machines or ask your doctor! They usually check your blood pressure at every visit.
    • It’s a good idea to track your blood pressure readings, keep this handy blood pressure tracker in your wallet so that you can always keep track of your readings. Get your PRINTABLE BLOOD PRESSURE TRACKER here.
  • Leave the salt at the door:
    • You don’t need to cook with salt to have flavor. Instead of adding salt to foods while you cook, let your loved ones add salt and other seasons as needed to their own foods. This can prevent over-salting items.
    • Cook with herbs. Herbs like rosemary and thyme are packed with flavor without the sodium. For even more fun, grow your own herbs in your garden.
    • Shop the rainbow. When you shopping, buy foods from the outside border of the store. These foods are usually less-processed and healthier. For instance, you can buy fruits, veggies, non-fat or low-fat milk, yogurt, whole grain bread, fresh fish all without going down a center aisle. 
  • Get moving:
    • You should try to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, spread out over several days. Even ten-minute bouts count!
    • Add a mixture of exercise to your routine so that you don’t get bored. Brisk walking, gardening, tennis, swimming, and dancing are all options.
    • Talk with your doctor before starting an exercise routine. 
  • Manage your stress:
    • Set aside time for the things you enjoy, whether they be a bath, yoga, or listening to music. 
  • Don’t smoke:
    • If you do not already smoke, do not start.
    • If you are a smoker, talk with your doctor about ways to quit.

We’re here for you!

  • Questions related to nutrition, exercise or stress management?
  • TEHW’s Wellness Program Manager is here for you. Contact Nichole Weaver today!
  • Email:
  • Cell Phone: 202-679-9887



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I am not working. Can I stay on the Plan’s coverage?

If you are not working, but you are still eligible for Plan coverage under the collective bargaining agreement, you may continue your coverage under the Plan by making monthly payments to the Plan during your period(s) of leave. You must notify the Health and Welfare office when you return to work.

If you are out on Workers’ Compensation, you must also make your monthly payments directly to the Health & Welfare Plan because they are not deducted from your paycheck or from your Workers’ Compensation benefits.

Payments are due on the first of the month. It is your responsibility to make your Health & Welfare payments on time. The Plan does not send notices of delinquent payments, nor will it send you a bill. If you do not make your payments on time, your coverage under the Plan will end. Consider permitting the Plan to deduct payments from your bank account. Contact the Plan for more information.

Coverage will retroactively end as of the monthly premium payment due date if the required monthly premium payment is not paid within 30 days from the due date (e.g., if the monthly premium payment for September, which is due on September 1, is not paid by September 30th, coverage would be terminated as of September 1). If coverage is terminated due to non-payment of the required monthly premium payment, you may again become covered (on a prospective basis) by sending in the required monthly premium payment for future coverage. Your coverage will re-start as of the first day of the month following receipt of the required monthly premium payment. You will not be permitted to retroactively reinstate coverage for any period of coverage that terminated due to non-payment of the required monthly premium payment.

If you are on a leave of absence for military duty, you are permitted to continue medical, dental, prescription drug, and vision benefit coverage under this Plan for you and your covered dependents in accordance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). Please see the “If You Enter Military Service”  section on the Life Events page for more information.

If your coverage ends due to termination of your employment with METRO, you may be eligible for COBRA for you and your family. Although METRO will notify the Health & Welfare Plan of your termination, you are also encouraged to inform the Health & Welfare Plan to avoid any delay.

If you lose Plan coverage due to the termination of your employment or any other reason, you may want to look into purchasing health coverage through a Health Insurance Marketplace.

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