Grundy County Memorial Hospital | Live Well | Spring 2021

3 If you’ve missed regular doctor visits or found it more challenging to pursue your usual exercise routine during the pandemic, you’re not alone. However, it’s impor- tant to return to your pre-pandemic healthy habits to make sure you don’t experi- ence long-term effects of the past year’s challenges. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a serious condition at any age. It can increase your risk of major complications, like heart attack and stroke. It’s also a sneaky condition because it usually has no symptoms. That’s why it’s crucial to know where you stand by getting regular blood pressure checks and following a treatment plan, if needed. Certain things are more likely to contribute to high blood pressure, such as getting older, family health history and your ethnic background—and they’re out of your control. But there are factors that affect blood pres- sure that are within your control, such as exercise, eating habits, and lifestyle habits like smoking and drinking excessive alcohol. See the chart below for details on your blood pressure’s im- pact on your overall health. Also check the Nutrition Corner on page 6 for great information on how your food choices affect your blood pressure. Sources: American Heart Association; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute LESS THAN 120 LESS THAN 80 AND 120-129 80 AND 130-139 80-89 OR Systolic mm Hg Diastolic mm Hg Sources: American Heart Association; National Institutes of Health Know your numbers ● Talk with your doctor about your blood pressure. ● Ask how often you should have it checked. Blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of blood vessels. High blood pressure, or hypertension, can cause your heart to work too hard. This raises your risk for serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke. BLOOD PRESSURE by the NUMBERS Normal Elevated Stage 1 hypertension Stage 2 hypertension Medical care needed right away Measured in mm Hg (millimeters of mercury) AND/OR OR LESS THAN 120 90 80 70 140 130 180 120 HIGHER THAN 180 HIGHER THAN 120 OR 140 HIGHER OR 90 HIGHER H I GH B LOOD P R E SS U R E A sneaky side effect of the pandemic?