The number one killer of Americans is heart disease. Not car crashes, cancer, drug abuse or gun violence—it is heart disease.
Statistics can be frightening. What they tell us is that it is possible to save lives of Americans who die daily from the number one killer. That’s why the doctors at Medical West hospital are committed to combating major causes of heart disease. High blood pressure is just one cause of heart disease, and it’s more common than you might think. African Americans and women over 65 are at the highest risk for this disease. Unfortunately, children are catching up.
“We are seeing that more and more and I think that’s related to genetics and obesity as well as sedentary lifestyle,” Medical West physician Andrea Shirey explained. “What we consider normal or good blood pressure is anything under 120/80. If your blood pressure with regular checking is running over 120/80 on a regular basis, then you need to seek medical attention.”
37 percent of people in Alabama have high blood pressure, or one out of every three of us. Luckily, there are simple steps you can take to bring your blood pressure down to a safe level.
“Getting regular exercise and eating a good, healthy diet. All of those things make your heart happy,” Shirey said. “You don’t have to go to extremes. All that’s really needed is to get your heart rate up for thirty minutes a day. You can walk up and down your stairs at home. You can walk back and forth in your living room. It doesn’t take a gym membership.”
Shirey says it will not take long to see results that could literally last a lifetime.
“Initially, your blood pressure will go up a little bit when you start exercising, but as you continue to exercise and your heart rate goes up, your blood pressure actually starts stabilizing. So it definitely is a good thing to do on a regular basis,” said Shirey.
This heart month, Medical West wants you to get moving, and what better way than to have the perfect playlist to get you on your feet and dancing, running or walking to the beat.
CBS42 Community and Medical West teamed up together to create the ideal playlist. It starts off with a warm up to ABC by the Jackson Five and cools down to Jack and Diane by John Mellencamp, with some fun tunes in between. Those songs are specially curated, as they all bump along to at least 130 bpm—perfect range for your heart. Click here to listen on your smartphone, turn the volume up and get going. And remember, always check with your physician before beginning a new health program.
Not seeing the playlist above? Click Here.
Remember, UAB Medical West is always ready and willing to help you be happy and healthy.
“We can help you here at UAB Medical West. We can help define your risks and to determine if you need medication to help lower blood pressure and to help you lead a healthier lifestyle,” Shirey said.
Call the Medical West physician referral line at 205-996-WEST to find the right doctor to help you live your best life.