Only 24% of adults have their high blood pressure under control because it requires constant maintenance. Below are some simple ways you can reduce the stress of managing your high blood pressure.
Know Your Risk Level
Having elevated blood pressure means that it’s between 120/80 mmHg and 129/80 mmHg.
Your chances of getting high blood pressure increase with age and can vary significantly based on your race or ethnicity. Having a family history of high blood pressure also ups your risk. And it can be compounded if you smoke or drink alcohol frequently.
My Family Health Portrait is a free tool that you can use to gauge your risk for high blood pressure, as well as other conditions that tend to run among families.
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a leading cause of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke — killing almost half a million Americans each year.
We recommend avoiding tobacco or marijuana, and alcohol altogether. Excessive smoking can damage your blood vessels and reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood. Meanwhile, you should avoid having more than one or two alcoholic drinks a day.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
When you are overweight, your body has to work extra hard to circulate oxygen. That puts a lot of strain on your heart and blood vessels. Consult with your doctor, nutritionist, and personal trainer to develop the best-fit regimen to maintain a healthy weight.
To keep yourself accountable, consider getting a pedometer or downloading a workout app to track the amount of physical activity you get each day.
Cut out Sodium and Fat
In general, processed foods that are high in sodium and saturated fat are terrible for your body. Make sure you are eating these foods instead:
- Vegetables and fruits
- High-fiber grains
- Fish, poultry, beans, and nuts
- Unsaturated fats like olive oil and avocado oil
Even making the smallest changes to your diet can create a difference. Just make sure you’re consulting with your physician before making major adjustments.
Get Enough Sleep
Your heart and blood vessels need a good night’s rest just as much as you do. Not getting enough sleep can elevate your blood pressure for longer periods. Over time, this can lead to conditions such as sleep apnea and insomnia.
A good practice is turning off your devices a few hours before bedtime and minimizing noise to get a full 6-8 hours of uninterrupted rest.
Need more help managing high blood pressure?
Paradise Medical Group is a multi-specialty primary care group specializing in high blood pressure treatment and prevention. Our physicians have the latest strategies to help you and your family navigate this complex condition.