Newswise — GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension faculty want to help you relieve some pressure – in this case, by lowering your blood pressure. What better timing? February is National Heart Health Month.
Those with high blood pressure risk suffering from heart disease and or a stroke, both leading causes of death in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 75 million American adults – or 32 percent -- have high blood pressure, according to the CDC.
“Managing blood pressure is an important component of heart health, for both men and women,” said Linda Bobroff, a UF/IFAS professor in the department of family, youth and community sciences and an Extension nutrition specialist.
To help keep your blood pressure normal, Bobroff is helping to spearhead statewide UF/IFAS implementation of the Extension program called Keeping the Pressure Down in the next two years. The eight-lesson program encourages healthy lifestyle choices that help people manage their blood pressure and reduce their risk of hypertension, Bobroff said.
The program emphasizes the importance of taking blood pressure medication as prescribed and focuses on the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, diet. For information about the DASH diet, click here: http://bit.ly/1Elpg4a. Goals of Keeping the Pressure Down are for participants to:• Monitor their own blood pressure. • Decrease consumption of processed and or high-sodium foods.• Eat more fruits and vegetables.• Exercise at least 150 minutes per week.• Practice stress-management.
• Take blood pressuremedications as prescribed.
“Our primary health outcomes will be reductions in blood pressure and body weight as needed,” Bobroff said.
For more information, Bobroff suggests checking with your county Extension office, http://bit.ly/1Q8wguw, to see if Keeping the Pressure Down will be offered in your area.
By: Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, [email protected]
The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS works to bring science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents. Visit the UF/IFAS web site at ifas.ufl.edu and follow us on social media at @UF_IFAS.