March 2019 - High Blood Pressure Awareness
A Message from Your Hometown Health Manager
We are excited to announce that we are bringing back “The Invitational” five-week challenge ! Here are the number of cumulative steps we reached over the past two years during this annual challenge:

2017: 35 million steps
2018: 36 million steps

For 2019, letʻs work together to add an additional million steps to top our record! 😊

For those unfamiliar with “The Invitational,” this is a team-based step challenge where you can pick your own team (and even customize your own name and pick a mascot). Tip: If creating your own team, make sure your coworkers join as soon as possible to secure their spot. Once you register to participate, your five-person team will be able to compete against a new team each week for five weeks. The team that walks the most each week wins bragging rights! 

Registration opens March 6 and will close on March 12 at 5:00 p.m. central/6:00 p.m. eastern time. After this time, you will no longer be able to sign up. If you log your steps a minimum of five days each week for the duration of the challenge, you will earn credit toward your gift card reward! 

Stay tuned to your email for additional details and log into your wellness portal

If you have any questions about this wellness challenge, please feel free to reach out to WebMD customer service at 855.667.2546.

All the Best,

Gwen Mahabir
High Blood Pressure is Often Called the “Silent Killer”
Most of the time, high blood pressure (HBP, or hypertension) has no obvious symptoms to indicate that something is wrong. The best ways to protect yourself are being aware of the risks and making changes that matter.

A few facts to be aware of:

  • Many people with high blood pressure don’t even know they have it. Often the signs and symptoms are misunderstood. 
  • High blood pressure develops slowly over time and can be related to many causes.
  • High blood pressure cannot be cured. But it can be managed effectively through lifestyle changes and, when needed, medication. 

Blood pressure categories

The five blood pressure ranges as recognized by the American Heart Association are normal, elevated, hypertension stage 1, hypertension stage 2 and hypertensive crisis. 

Normal
Blood pressure numbers of less than 120/80 mm Hg are considered within the normal range. If your results fall into this category, stick with heart-healthy habits like following a balanced diet and getting regular exercise.

Elevated
Elevated blood pressure is when readings consistently range from 120-129 systolic and less than 80 mm Hg diastolic. People with elevated blood pressure are likely to develop high blood pressure unless steps are taken to control the condition.

Changes You Can Make to Manage Your Blood Pressure  
High blood pressure (HBP, or hypertension) is a symptomless “silent killer” that quietly damages blood vessels and leads to serious health problems.

While there is no cure, using medications as prescribed and making lifestyle changes can enhance your quality of life and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and more.

Make changes that matter:

  • Eat a well balanced diet that is low in salt
  • Limit Alcohol
  • Enjoy regular physical activity
  • Manage Stress
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight
  • Quit Smoking
  • Take Your Medications Properly
  • Work Together with Your Doctor

Shaking the Salt Habit 
Many Americans have acquired a taste for a high salt diet. One way to cut back is to skip the table salt. However, most of the sodium in our diets comes from packaged, processed foods. Eating these foods less often can help reduce your sodium intake, lower your blood pressure and/or prevent high blood pressure (HBP or hypertension) from developing in the first place.

Managing Weight to Control High Blood Pressure
Losing even a few pounds may make a difference.

Maintaining a healthy weight provides many health benefits. If you are overweight, losing as little as five to 10 pounds may help lower your blood pressure.

A few great reasons to manage your weight:

  • Being overweight puts you at greater risk of developing health problems.
  • A little weight loss can bring a lot of health gains. Did you know you might experience health benefits from losing as few as 10 pounds? Even a small weight loss can help manage or prevent high blood pressure in many overweight people (those with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or greater).
  • Weight loss reduces the strain on your heart. Being overweight puts extra strain on your heart, increasing the risk for developing high blood pressure and damage to your blood vessels that can lead to serious health threats.

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