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  May is National Blood Pressure Awareness Month
  • Natural Ways to Help Lower Blood Pressure
  • Prevention is the Best Medicine
  • It's the Finish Line! Get ready to walk or run your first 5K
  • Dr. Oz Video: Boost Your Energy
  • Source4Women Webinar: So What Can I Eat? What you need to know about food allergies, intolerances and sensitivities
  • May Dare
  • Monthly Health Tip
  • Monthly Recipe
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Natural Ways to Help Lower Blood Pressure

High blood pressure strikes 1 in 3 adults. Learn the top lifestyle strategies that can make a real impact on lowering your blood pressure.

 

What is it?

One in three American adults has high blood pressure. Medication is often prescribed, but that's not the only solution. There are many lifestyle strategies that have also been shown to have an impact. For some, weight loss combined with exercise and a healthy eating plan may even reduce or eliminate the need for medication altogether.

 

Your doctor can help you decide whether to take a combined approach of medication plus lifestyle or whether to try following these healthy lifestyle strategies first:

 

1. Increase exercise. Aerobic exercise can lower blood pressure and also help with weight loss. And, it doesn't take a time-consuming workout in a gym to reap the benefits.

  • As few as 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week has been shown to be effective.
  • Aerobic activities such as walking, biking, swimming and water aerobics often produce the best results.
  • Before you start an exercise program, ask your doctor what type and amount of exercise is right for you.

 

2. Cut your salt intake. Eating a diet high in sodium may raise your blood pressure and lead to heart disease and stroke. Experts now recommend limiting sodium intake to 2,300 mg per day. People 51 and older and those of any age who are African American or have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease are advised to limit sodium to 1,500 mg.

  • Check labels of food and over-the-counter medication for their sodium content.
  • Use herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods.
  • Avoid processed foods, such as canned and frozen ready-to-eat foods, cheeses and luncheon meats.

 

3. Eat a healthy diet. Follow DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) guidelines. This has been shown to help lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

  • The DASH diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. It restricts intake of saturated fats, red meat and sugar.
  • The increased fiber, potassium, calcium and magnesium from these foods are all thought to play a role in reducing blood pressure. Potassium can be found in many fruits and vegetables, beans/legumes, nuts and dairy products.

 

4. Lose weight. Even a 10-pound weight loss can help reduce blood pressure or prevent high blood pressure in the majority of overweight people.

  • Keep a food journal to track exactly what and how much you eat.
  • Choose foods low in saturated fat, cholesterol, trans fats and refined sugar.
  • Watch your portion sizes.
  • Do not skip meals. Eating three meals a day plus snacks is essential in weight management.
  • Aim for 25 to 30 grams of fiber daily, which will fill you up and curb your hunger.

 

5. Limit alcohol. Drinking a lot of alcohol can raise your blood pressure.

  • If you drink, keep your alcohol intake to no more than one drink a day for women, two drinks for men.
  • A drink is the equivalent of 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 2 ounces of hard liquor.

 

The key is to discover what works for you. Choose your strategies, take action and start enjoying the benefits. You can lower your blood pressure and help prevent other chronic diseases at the same time.

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Prevention Is the Best Medicine

 

When it comes to living well, what could be more important than staying healthy? And, when you and your doctor work as a team to manage your overall health, it can help you meet your wellness goals. For example, routine checkups can help you avoid serious health problems — and so can regular screenings.

 

We have an online tool just for you. UnitedHealthcare is here to help with our online preventive care tool. It allows you to view and download health recommendations that apply to you. It also provides health tips and additional resources to help you live a healthier life. This web-based tool can help you:

 

  • Better manage your health
  • Make more informed medical decisions
  • Know what preventive care may be right for you

 

Check out this easy-to-use tool today! Find it at www.uhcpreventivecare.com.

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It's the Finish Line!
Get ready to walk or run your first 5K


Your legs pumping, your pulse pounding, you look up and see it: the finish line of your first 5K! When you reach your goal, you feel strong and proud — and ready to celebrate.

 

Training for a 5K race can help you get in shape, whether you choose to run, walk or do a little of both. At 3.1 miles, it's an attainable goal for many people — even for most beginners. Many races are charity events so a worthy cause can give you added inspiration.

 

Tips for first-timers
For starters, check in with your doctor. Make sure it's safe to increase your activity level. Once you have an OK, train gradually. And, be patient. Some people will be ready for a race in about five weeks — others may need longer.

 

How often? Start by walking or running about four times a week. Use your off days to fit in additional activities, such as strength training.
How long? Begin with 10 to 25 minutes at a time. Increase your time only when you feel ready. Pushing yourself too hard could result in injury.
How far? As you add time, your distance will gradually increase, as well. To measure how far you're going, you might try a website or GPS device that calculates mileage for you. You could also walk or run at a track. A lap is typically one-quarter mile.


This approach should help you determine when you are ready for 3.1 miles. The goal is not to do the full distance on each outing. In fact, you will want to taper off a bit before race day so you are not overly fatigued.

 

Proceed with care

To help prevent injuries and stay safe:

  • Wear comfortable walking or running shoes with good support.
  • Stick to safe, well-lit routes.
  • Wear bright, reflective clothing on roadways and in low light.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink fluids before, during and after exercise.
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Better Health with Dr. Oz: Boost Your Energy


Are you feeling sluggish? Stretch and move around. You'll increase blood flow and distribute oxygen and energy throughout your body. View this video for more tips to boost energy.

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Source4Women Online Seminar
So What Can I Eat?
What you need to know about food allergies, intolerances and sensitivities


Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD
May 13, 2014, 12:30 p.m. ET, 11:30 a.m. CT

 

Struggling with strawberries? Petrified of peanuts? Feeling bloated after drinking milk? Maybe you have a food allergy, intolerance or sensitivity. Food allergies are serious business affecting up to 15 million Americans including 1 in 13 children according to researchers. However, many people confuse common reactions to foods with allergies. Join us for this seminar which promises to bust allergy myths and learn more about the signs, symptoms, and treatment strategies that may help you to stay safe and maintain your healthy diet while limiting or eliminating certain foods.


To register for an upcoming Source4Women seminar, visit www.source4women.com and click on "Online Seminars & Events." All seminars are recorded and archived for viewing after the live seminar date.

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May Dare:
Share How You Protect Your Eyes


Share a photo of how you protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses and you could win a $400 gift card!

 

To register for We Dare You, click here:
www.wedareyoutoshare.com

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May Health Tip:
Exercise your funny bone! Researchers are finding that laughter helps reduce stress and may lower your blood pressure.

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May Healthy Recipe: Marvelous Meatless Chili

Ingredients:
1 slow cooker liner
1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
2 medium pobano peppers, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 can (15 ounces) red kidney beans, rinsed
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed
1 cup frozen corn niblets
1 jar (16 ounces) smooth chipotle or roja salsa
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
3⁄4 cup water
2 tablespoons cocoa chili spice blend or unsweetened
cocoa powder
2 tablespoons salt-free chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1⁄3 cup chopped cilantro             


Directions:

  1. Line a 3-quart or larger slow cooker. Mix all ingredients except cilantro in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours until vegetables are tender and flavors are blended.
  2. Stir in cilantro. Top with sour cream, cheese and/or toasted pumpkin seeds.

Yield: 6 servings

Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 323
Fat: 3g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 942mg
Carbohydrates: 62g
Dietary Fiber: 18g
Protein: 16g

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