Ensuring her vitals are nominal before the procedure

Healthy habits can help keep your heart and blood vessels in good shape for the long haul, and that becomes increasingly important as you age. If you already have heart or blood vessel problems such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure, a healthy lifestyle can help lower your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Blood pressure is an often overlooked aspect of health that can show few symptoms, a trait that has led to it being dubbed “the silent killer.” Many people do not know their blood pressure is dangerously high.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states controlling blood pressure is an important aspect of heart health. Uncontrolled, it can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease, pregnancy complications and cognitive decline later in life, according to the CDC. Yet, nearly half of all adults in the United States have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, and only one in four adults has it under control.

Hypertension is a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke, two leading causes of death in the U.S. In 2020, more than 670,000 deaths in the United States had hypertension as a primary or contributing cause, according to the CDC.

But whether a concerning blood pressure reading is the catalyst to start living a healthier lifestyle or someone is just trying to make positive changes or get in better shape, there is never a bad time to start eating better, get a daily dose of exercise or find a more effective way to cope with stress.

According to the American Heart Association, most healthy people should get the equivalent of at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week. This might be broken up into five 30-minute sessions, but shorter sessions count, too. The activity should be spread throughout the week and include flexibility and stretching, as well as muscle-strengthening activity at least two days each week.

Variety should be sought. Some examples of beneficial activities, when done regularly, include brisk walking, hiking or stair-climbing, as well as jogging, running, cycling, rowing or swimming. Fitness classes, team sports and dance classes can also add a social component and relate to personal interests.