Are you one of the millions of Americans with high blood pressure? Even if you aren’t, the chaos of the holiday season can be enough to make anyone’s blood pressure rise. That’s why our team at AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah wants to offer some suggestions for keeping your blood pressure in a good spot this season. Avoiding High Blood Pressure Over the Holidays High blood pressure has long been defined as having a reading of 140⁄90 or higher. But new guidelines drop that number to 130 over 80, which will put more Americans in the category of hypertension. Let’s talk about a few ways you can help keep your blood pressure at a normal level during the holiday season. First, watch out for how much sodium (or salt) is in your food. While this is a good rule overall, during the holiday, food seems to be the primary focus of many (if not most) holiday gatherings. And don’t think that your salt intake comes just from the salt shaker. Sodium is also used in the preservation process, so many foods, including bread, contain it. Be sure to keep a careful eye on food labels and restaurant nutrition information to limit the amount of sodium you’re eating. Second, stress is a big factor for high blood pressure. And the holiday season, when everyone is fighting crowds for the perfect Christmas present, traveling and dealing with a never-ending to-do list, brings extra stress to many people. Try and do everything you can to keep your body (and mind) as stress-free as possible. If you can, avoid putting too much pressure on yourself during the holiday season. Instead of trying to make everything perfect, focus on just enjoying the holidays. And finally, regular workouts might not be the first thing on your mind during the holidays, but they’re especially important. Physical activity helps keep your blood pressure moderated and lowers your stress—a win-win. Schedule appointments with yourself to exercise, and don’t cancel! If you have yet to receive your annual wellness check for 2017, you still have time! Visit AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah today so that you can undergo a physical that’ll check all facets of your health, including your blood pressure.