The good news is that there are steps you can take to lower your high blood pressure. That translates into better health today—and in the future. These tips can help:
- Lose weight if necessary
- Be physically active
- Choose foods low in salt and sodium
- Limit your alcohol intake
- Take your medication
At least 65 million Americans have high blood pressure. High blood pressure increases the workload of the heart and kidneys, increasing the risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke and kidney disease. High blood pressure is the biggest risk factor for stroke.
It is up to you to take control! By making lifestyle changes, taking medications and working with your health care team, you can control your high blood pressure to help prevent future problems.
VERY IMPORTANT INFO!!!!
Ten Tips To Help You Control Your High Blood Pressure,
- Make sure your blood pressure is under 140/90 mm Hg. If your systolic pressure (the top number) is over 140, ask your doctor what you can do to lower it.
- Take your high blood pressure medicine, if prescribed, every day. If you have questions, talk to your doctor.
- Aim for a healthy weight. If you are overweight or obese, carrying this extra weight increases your risk of high blood pressure. One way to determine if you need to lose weight is to find out your body mass index or BMI. If your BMI is above the healthy range (i.e., 25 or greater), or if your waist measurement is greater than 35 inches (women) or 40 inches (men) you probably have excess abdominal weight and you may benefit from weight loss especially if you have other risk factors. Talk to your doctor to see if you are at increased risk for high blood pressure and need to lose weight.
- Increase your physical activity. Do at least 30 minutes of moderate activity, such as walking, most days of the week. You can do 30 minutes in three 10-minute segments.dr.sharib azmi
- Choose foods low in salt and sodium. Most Americans should consume no more than 2.4 grams (2,400 milligrams) of sodium a day. That equals 6 grams, about one teaspoon of table salt a day. For someone with high blood pressure, the doctor may advise less.
- Read nutrition labels. Almost all packaged foods contain sodium. Every time you prepare or eat a packaged food, know how much sodium is in one serving.
- Keep a sodium diary. You may be surprised at how much sodium you consume each day and the diary will help you decide which foods to decrease or eliminate.
- Use spices and herbs instead of salt to season the food you prepare at home.
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, grains, and low-fat dairy foods.
- If you consume alcohol at all, consume moderate amount or restrict.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle is critical for the prevention of HBP and an indispensable part of managing it. Think of these changes as a “lifestyle prescription” and make every effort to comply with them.
Whether you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, also called hypertension, or are concerned because you have some of the risk factors for the disease, understand this: while there is no cure, high blood pressure is manageable.