Many patients will find that they can keep their blood pressure under control with healthy lifestyle adjustments.
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke and several cardiac complications. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hypertension presents in about 1 in 3 adults in America, totaling around 68 million cases. If your numbers are higher than a healthy 120/80, it's time to take action!
While medications are available, there are several lifestyle changes that may help you. While continuing to monitor your blood pressure and communicate with your doctor, try these methods:
Find an exercise routine that works for you. Whether you work best with personal goals, the accountability of a fitness class, or the enjoyment of high-energy activities such as swimming, kayaking, or hiking, you need to figure out how to make your commitment to exercise stick.
Rethink your diet. If you're getting too much sodium every day, your blood pressure will skyrocket. Cutting back on sodium means more than skipping the salt on your potatoes – it means choosing whole foods rather than processed ones.
Manage your stress. There is an undeniable link between your mental health and your blood pressure. If you are constantly feeling tense, your physical health will pay the price. When you can't avoid your stress triggers, learn how to manage them. Try breathing exercises, meditation, or going for a long walk. If you can't get a handle on these feelings by yourself, consider seeing a therapist you trust.
May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month. Get your facts straight! If you have any questions about your blood pressure, from how to get it tested to how you can keep it under control, you can call our free Consult-a-Nurse® service at 1-888-256-7724.