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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Healthy Heart Spotlight: High Blood Pressure

We learn something new everyday as we work on the Stitch Red campaign - it's as eye opening for us as we hope it is to all of you! Our partners in this effort, The Heart Truth, have made it their mission to spread awareness among women and we've joined them to do the same! To keep spreading awareness, we thought it would be helpful to go over some of the details of the most prominent risk factors of heart disease. Today marks the first of a series of Heart Healthy Spotlights and it's all about High Blood Pressure.

High Blood Pressure is the most prevalent risk factor of heart disease. In fact, it affects 1 in 3 American Adults. If we look at the ladies (and men) of Jimmy Beans Wool as a sample of American adults, about 13 of us could suffer from high blood pressure - that's huge! Coincidentally, Stitch Red began when Laura and her husband, Doug, found out that he had high blood pressure. As two active, thirty-somethings this was a huge shock. We thought heart disease only affected older men and women from 55-60. Boy were we wrong!

I think high blood pressure is part of what gives heart disease the reputation of being a "silent killer." The condition typically has no symptoms, so it's easy for someone, like Doug, to go on with his active life thinking nothing is wrong. The scary part is that a person can live with high blood pressure for years and during that time the condition is damaging the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and other vital parts of the body. It's crucial to know your blood pressure numbers. If you're blood pressure is normal, you can continue to work at keeping it at that level. If your blood pressure is high, your doctor can get you set up with a treatment plan to start sticking it to high blood pressure (and more serious risks).

To keep our high blood pressure in check, we run, walk, participate in Cross Fit and kickboxing classes! We also try to keep our ice cream treats to a minimum, but with the heat in the 100s these days sometimes we could use something cold! What do YOU do to keep your heart happy?

If you're interested in learning more about preventing and controlling high blood pressure, The Heart Truth has a fantastic reference you can look through here.

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