Many people are walking around with a big health risk and do not even know it.
Connie Woods of HealthWise 55 says high blood pressure become an even greater concern as people age. She says it is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. She says it is a silent killer, because, unless you get your blood pressure checked regularly, you do not know it's a problem.
Knowing your numbers is the first step in changing your numbers. Wood says most people want to be in the 120 over 60 to 140 over 80 range - your doctor can say for sure what's right for you.
While a doctor's appointment is the best course of action, HealthWise 55 is giving people an easy way to take the first step in dealing with their pressure. They're providing free blood pressure checks at Topeka's West Ridge Mall in conjunction with its "Healthy Steps" walking program, and at the South Topeka YMCA at SW 37th and Chelsea. They'll also continue to offer the checks at their HealthWise 55 office.
Wood says it's a good way to take the service into the community, where people will already be. She says no appointment is needed - people can just drop by.
Wood says knowing you have high blood pressure means being able to take action - whether it's medication or an exercise program - to have it treated and bring it down. The cost of not knowing you have high blood pressure is heart disease and stroke.
Free Blood Pressure Checks
West Ridge Mall
8:15 to 9:30 am
1st Thursday of the month
S. Topeka YMCA (37th/Chelsea)
10 to 11:30 am
2nd & 4th Thursday of the month
HealthWise Office (2252 SW 10th)
10 am to 1 pm