May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month
Did you know that one in three adults have high blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the force of your blood against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood throughout your body. A blood pressure reading contains two numbers. The top number measures the pressure when your heart pumps blood (systolic). The bottom number measures the pressure when your heart is at rest (diastolic). High blood pressure indicates that your heart is working harder than normal, putting both your heart and arteries under strain. A blood pressure reading of 119/79 or less, is considered within the ideal range for most adults. A blood pressure reading of 120/80 to 139/89 is considered pre-hypertension in most adults. Your goal should be to maintain your blood pressure within the normal range, if possible, or lower than 140/90, except in persons with diabetes in which case the goal should be 130/80 or lower.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, increases the heart's workload, causing it to enlarge and weaken over time. It also increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney failure and congestive heart failure. When high blood pressure exists with obesity, smoking, high blood cholesterol levels or diabetes, the risk of heart attack or stroke increases several times.
Source: American Heart Association
Are you at risk for developing high blood pressure?
Do your parents, sisters or brothers have high blood pressure?
Are you African-American?
Is your cholesterol level over 240?
Do you smoke?
Are you 20 percent over your ideal body weight?
Do you consume two or more drinks of alcohol a day?
Do you consume a diet high in sodium?
Do you consume more than two cups per day of caffeinated coffee, tea or soft drinks?
How many "Yes" answers did you have?
Results: A "Yes" response reflects a factor that may increase your risk for high blood pressure. The more "Yes" answers, the higher your risk. The wellness tips in this email may help you to prevent, detect and seek treatment for high blood pressure. Work with your doctor to control your blood pressure.
If you've been diagnosed with high blood pressure -or even pre-hypertension- it's important to do all you can to keep your blood pressure under control and at the reading recommended by your doctor.
Wellness Tips to Consider
If you are overweight, lose it. Excess weight is closely associated with increased blood pressure. For most people who are more than 10 percent above your ideal weight, your blood pressure could be lowered with just 10 pounds of weight loss.
De-stress. Repeated stress appears to raise blood pressure, while relaxation techniques may lower blood pressure.
Do not smoke. Smoking increases blood pressure and contributes significantly to the development of heart disease.
Minimize alcohol consumption. Moderation is the key.
Increase Potassium. A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine concluded that potassium-rich foods can reduce the need for blood pressure lowering medication in some people with hypertension. Be sure to consult your doctor before trying a high-potassium diet.
Save the Date
Mark your calendars for the 2012 Benefits Health Fair. The theme of this year's Health Fair is: Healthy, Well-thy and Wise.
The Fair will be held on July 31, 2012 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm in the Mesa High School cafeteria.
The Health Fair kicks off the start of the Benefits open enrollment period which will run from July 30 - August 17, 2012. Look for additional information on next year's benefits in your mail over the summer.
UHC.TV is a new online television network that presents relevant, focused, educational and entertaining video programs about good health and living well to help people get inspired to grow healthy and live better.
Click here to access UHC.TV!
Better Health with Dr. Oz
Check the MPS-Win! website each month for a video clip featuring a health and wellness tip courtesy of The Dr. Oz Show. The clips focus on achieving or maintaining a healthy weight, heart health, exercise and healthy eating.
This months video tip: Age-Proof Your Body with Vegetables. The secret for age-proofing your body may be in your produce aisle.
Recipe of the Month: Rainbow Spinach Salad
For a colorful and healthy treat, mix green spinach, red beets and oranges for a salad rich with antioxidants and vitamins A and C.
1lb. spinach, washed, dried and chopped
1 cup canned sliced beets
2 medium oranges, peeled and sectioned
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 T orange juice
2 T olive oil
1 T water
1 T honey
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Put spinach in a bowl and add beets and oranges. For the dressing, combine the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced by about one third. Let cool, then drizzle dressing over the salad.
Yield: 4 servings
Calories: 178 - Fat: 7 g
Saturated Fat: 0.5 g - Protein: 4 g
Carbohydrate: 21 g - Fiber: 5 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg - Sodium: 92 mg
Do you have a favorite healthy recipe to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and your recipe could appear in the next issue of the MPS-Win! Wellness Newsletter. Please include your name and school/department.
If you are looking for something fun to do this Summer, the US Airways Center and The Phoenix Symphony are offering these fun events.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus: 142nd Edition
The Wellness Newsletter is published for employees of Mesa Public Schools. The Wellness Newsletter is produced by the Employee Benefits Department. Questions and comments are welcome. Please write to Director of Employee Benefits Judy Cato, Mesa Public Schools, 63 East Main Street #101, Mesa, AZ 85201-7422.