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: nbweaver@tehw.org
  • Cell Phone: 202-679-9887

 

Sources:

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/hyprtens.htm,

http://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/facts.htm,

http://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/what_you_can_do.htm,

http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf07/hbp/hbpsum.htm

http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/chapter4.aspx

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We just had a child. Can I add my child to my coverage?

Yes, your newborn child will be covered by the Plan from the date of birth, as long as you enroll the child within 30 days from the date of birth. If you enroll the child between 31 and 90 days after the date of birth, coverage for the newborn child begins on the first of the following month. If you miss this 90-day period, you will not be able to enroll your newborn child until the next Open Enrollment Period. You will need to provide the Plan with the necessary documentation. For more information, visit the "If You Have a Baby" section on the Life Events page.

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