If you have high blood pressure or a family history of high blood pressure, you may have concerns about taking the medication usually given to help regulate blood pressure. However, lifestyle also plays an important role in bringing your numbers down. If you can control your blood pressure with lifestyle changes, you could reduce your need for medications.
High blood pressure and the risk of high blood pressure increase as weight increases. Weight loss is one of the most effective ways to control your blood pressure. Losing only 10 pounds can help lower your numbers significantly.
Watch Your Waistline.
Besides lowering the number on the scale, also keep an eye on your waistline. Carrying too much weight around your middle puts you at risk of high blood pressure. For men, a waist measurement greater than 40 inches puts you at risk. For women, a waist measurement greater than 35 inches puts you at risk.
Aim to get at least thirty minutes of physical activity a day. Thirty minutes a day of aerobic activity like walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, or dancing could help lower your blood pressure. Remember consistency is important. If you stop exercising, your blood pressure could rise again.
Eat A Healthy Diet.
Try to eat a diet consisting of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and lean meat. Skip the saturated fat and cholesterol. Keep track of what you’re putting in your body by keeping a food diary and reading nutrition labels. Lowering the amount of sodium you are consuming could help lower your blood pressure. To avoid sodium, reach for natural whole foods instead of processed food.
Each cigarette you smoke raises your blood pressure for several minutes after you smoke it. Kicking the habit will help your blood pressure return to normal. In general, people who quit smoking have a longer life expectancy than people who do not quit, just in case you needed another reason to break the habit.
Limit The Amount Of Alcohol You Drink.
Alcohol is a bit of a controversial subject when it comes to high blood pressure. It can be good for you or it can be bad. Research suggests small amounts of alcohol could help lower your blood pressure. Women of all ages and men older than 65 should limit the amount of alcohol they drink to one serving a day. Men younger than 65 should limit the amount of alcohol they drink to two servings a day. Any more than that can raise your blood pressure by several points and reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.
Cut Back On Caffeine.
Caffeine is another controversial subject when it comes to high blood pressure. Research suggests it can raise the blood pressure of people who rarely drink it. For habitual coffee drinkers, caffeine seems to have little to no effect on blood pressure. To see if caffeine affects your blood pressure, check it within 30 minutes after drinking a caffeinated beverage. If your blood pressure increases 5 to 10 mm Hg, you may be sensitive to caffeine.
Reduce Your Stress Level.
Chronic stress is an important contributor to high blood pressure. Occasional stress can also contribute to high blood pressure if you don’t cope well and react by eating unhealthy food, drinking alcohol, or smoking. To reduces stress, take some time to think about what is stressing you out. Is it work, family, finances, illness? Once you know what is causing your stress, you can make a plan to alleviate it.
If it’s not possible to eliminate the stress you’re under, you can learn to cope in a healthy way.
- Change your expectations. You’re only one person. You can’t do everything all alone. Learn to say no and live within manageable limits.
- Learn to identify and accept these things you cannot change to lift the weight that worry off your shoulders.
- Make plans to solve the problems you can.
- Make time to relax and do activities you enjoy.
- Practice gratitude. What are some of the things you are thankful for?
Track Your Blood Pressure At Home.
Home monitoring can help you keep your blood pressure in check. It can also help you know if the lifestyle changes you are implementing are working.
Visit A Medical Care Professional Regularly.
Regular visits to a healthcare professional are key to controlling your blood pressure. If you have your blood pressure under control, it’s best to make a visit to the clinic every 6-12 months for a check up. If your blood pressure is not under control, you may need to see a medical professional more often.
Elite Care provides ongoing management services for long term illnesses such as diabetes, asthma, and high blood pressure right here in Guntown. For more information or to schedule an appointment call us at (662) 348-3342.