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Healthy Blood Pressure

Note: This article is over 60 days old, and may contain information that is out of date, or has been superseded by newer information.

Know your numbers for the New Year!

High blood pressure is the leading cause of heart attack, stroke, heart failure and kidney failure. Lowering high blood pressure helps keep your arteries healthy and is the single best thing you can do for your health. The American Heart Association recommends a blood pressure of less than 120/80 for non-diabetic adults and less than 130/80 for diabetics.

Simple steps to achieve a healthier blood pressure:

  • Monitor your pressure. Measuring your blood pressure is quick and painless. Sit quietly for a few minutes before taking the reading, AND support your arm at the level of your heart during monitoring.
  • Take your blood pressure medication as prescribed. If you cannot afford your medications or if you do not like the side effects of the medications, tell your doctor. Many drugs used to treat high blood pressure are available in generic formulas sold at reduced co-pays.
  • Make these healthy lifestyle changes:
  • Achieve a normal body weight.
  • Participate in some form of physical activity each day (Ask your doctor if you are healthy enough to exercise).
  • Reduce your salt intake to 1500 milligrams a day. Watch out for fast foods, processed and prepackaged foods which are often high in salt.
  • If you smoke- STOP. Visit the Wellness Programs page to find out how we can help.

Making these small changes to achieve a normal blood pressure will help prevent further complications caused by this silent condition. For more information on high blood pressure contact CHP Health Coaching at 850-383-3400.

New for Members: Your Personalized Health Report

Note: This article is over 60 days old, and may contain information that is out of date, or has been superseded by newer information.

Through an innovative online tool, Capital Health Plan members can create an individualized guide for managing their health and feeling their best. It’s

easy to do, takes 15–20 minutes, and makes you a much more active participant in your health care. The guide:

  • establishes a health baseline so that you can monitor changes over time
  • creates useful personalized forms
  • enables more productive, organized doctor visits
  • lets you set and track personal health goals

How the Health Survey Works.
The first step is an online health survey, accessed through Capital Health Plan’s secure Internet site (see directions on this page). The survey uses a new questioning technology called “branching logic.” From a general question, your response may or may not lead to follow-up questions for more specific information. All responses then are compiled into a report of health information designed just for you! You are able to save your survey for future reference and comparison.

Tailored Forms and Resources.
In addition, the survey provides you with useful forms for yourself and your doctor. One set of forms organizes your conditions into categories, such as things you are doing well, conditions that could use attention, family history, and prevention. There is space on each page for writing important notes.
Other forms outline goals for issues and conditions that you indicated in the survey. The grand finale of the report is a tailor-made list of resources for gathering more health information.

The Big Picture.
One of the most important and exciting components of completing the survey is looking at “the big picture” of your health and deciding personal goals. Maybe you want to lose 20 pounds over the next year, improve your strength and balance, or reduce the number of medications you take. Remember, CHP has many services and benefits to assist you with your goals. CHP Health Coaching is the newest member benefit. With this service you can call 24 hours a day (850-383-3400) and speak with a Health Coach about your specific needs. Online, a coaching feature includes numerous Lifestyle Management Programs. Topics include weight and stress management, smoking cessation, and preventing and managing back pain.

CHP also offers weight management classes and support groups each week at our Governor’s Square location.
Live Well. It’s Your Choice!

To Access the Health Survey
  1. Log on to
  2. Click CHP Health Coaching.
  3. Log on with your user ID and password, or register if a first-time user.
  4. Click Health Tools.
  5. Click Health Survey.
To Access Lifestyle Management Programs
  1. Follow steps 1–3 above.
  2. Click Healthy Living.
  3. Click Lifestyle Management Programs.

Ask Dr. Nancy

Note: This article is over 60 days old, and may contain information that is out of date, or has been superseded by newer information.

Q: It’s February. Do you know where your New Year’s resolutions are?

We are six weeks out from our New Year’s resolutions, and most of us had a resolution regarding our own personal health. Whether we vowed to lose weight, or to become stronger, or to improve our cardiovascular condition, or to stop smoking, now is the time to decide whether our plans are on track.

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, health is “[s]oundness, especially of body or mind; freedom from disease or abnormality . . . [a] condition of optimal well-being.”

Wow! Sign me up. Give me that “health pill.” As we know, health (particularly as we age) is more a product of what we do and don’t do rather than what anyone does for us or to us. The good news is that a lot of our personal health is under our own control. The harder news is that we have to expend effort and make choices that will lead to optimal well-being.

Do these five simple things to Live Well:

  1. Move. Walk fast for 30 minutes most days. You will feel better almost immediately. Take your kids along. Wear them out.
  2. Eat healthy foods. Too much fat and sugar and not enough fruits, vegetables, and fiber are the root cause of many of the chronic diseases that we all want to avoid.
  3. Drink eight glasses of water a day.
  4. Take a multi-vitamin daily, particularly if you don’t eat enough vegetables and fruit.

Get a health baseline by doing an online health survey. If you have any questions about how to proceed with your own plan for health, call a Health Coach at 850-383-3400.

Best of luck in moving forward in good health!