Ways to Control High Blood Pressure
Maintaining healthy blood pressure is so important. And if you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, added stress, like that caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, can contribute to elevated levels. If left untreated, high blood pressure can cause a heart attack, stroke or other serious health problems. Here are some helpful ways to manage your blood pressure:
Reduce your Stress
Stress is a major contributor to high blood pressure. Whether it is caused by work, family or finances, it’s important to take a step back and breathe. You can walk outside and enjoy the sunshine, practice yoga or try meditating each day to keep your stress (and blood pressure) levels down.
Weight loss is one of the most effective lifestyle changes for controlling blood pressure. Taking small steps toward losing weight by exercising and eating healthy can help you see improvement in your blood pressure. Another area to focus on is your waistline. Carrying too much weight around your waist can put you at greater risk of high blood pressure and complications due to high blood pressure.
Regular physical activity — about 150 minutes a week — can lower your blood pressure. But staying consistent is key to keeping the benefits of exercise consistent and your blood pressure down. Some exercises you could do include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or dancing.
Eating healthy foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products can lower your blood pressure. Reducing the amount of sodium and increasing potassium in your diet can improve your blood pressure and heart health. The DASH diet is an excellent nutrition resource aimed at reducing blood pressure.
Each cigarette you smoke increases your blood pressure for a period of time. Quitting helps your blood pressure return to normal and reduces your risk of heart disease, lung cancer and a variety of other complications. There is never a bad time to quit smoking.
See Your Doctor
Because genetics can play a role in a variety of health issues, even the most healthy individual can develop high blood pressure. It is important to keep routine visits with your doctor, ask questions and carefully follow any prescribed treatment.
Do not delay your care if you feel unwell, especially if your blood pressure is rising. Contact your physician to make an in person or telehealth appointment today. Visit www.caromonthealth.org for more information.