Hypertension means your blood exerts too much force on your blood vessel walls. This can cause heart disease and stroke.
High blood pressure is a prevalent US chronic condition. 30% of adults and 50% of those over 75 have it. Detecting and treating hypertension early can reduce problems and negative effects.
Making healthy lifestyle choices and working with your doctor to monitor and treat blood pressure are key. Read on for ideas on lowering blood pressure.
Step 1: Check Your BP Regularly
Everyone should have their blood pressure checked regularly after age 40. This is especially important if you have high blood pressure. If you have borderline high blood pressure (130/80 or greater), you should be checked at least every two years.
Ideally, you should have your blood pressure checked at a doctor’s office, where your readings will be more accurate. You can also check your blood pressure at home with a kit or device your doctor or pharmacist can recommend.
Step 2: Eat a Healthy Diet
If you have hypertension, you should eat a high-fiber diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains and low-fat dairy products. If you eat plenty of foods rich in calcium, magnesium, and potassium, you may lower your blood pressure.
In one study, people who had high blood pressure were told to eat a diet rich in foods like dairy products, fruits, and vegetables. After about six months, the average blood pressure of people in the study dropped 10 to 16 points.
Step 3: Exercise Daily
Regular aerobic exercise can reduce high blood pressure dramatically. It is recommended that you do aerobic exercises at least 30 minutes per day. Other forms of physical activity such as walking and strength training can also help to lower blood pressure.
If you have high blood pressure, you should be especially careful as you start exercising. You should start slowly, building up your activity level over time. Exercising in a group can help you stay motivated to do it regularly.
Step 4: Monitor Stress and Anxiety Levels
High blood pressure is often caused or worsened by stress and anxiety. If you keep a journal or diary, you may notice a pattern or connection between your blood pressure and the amount of stress in your life.
If you have anxiety, you can try to find ways to reduce your stress, such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises. If you have high blood pressure, you should try to keep your stress level as low as possible. This will help you control your blood pressure and lower your risk of heart disease.
Step 5: Manage Medications Properly
If you take medication for high blood pressure, make sure you are following your doctor’s instructions carefully.
This includes taking your medication at the right times each day and following a healthy diet and exercise program. If you have high blood pressure, you may need to take blood pressure medication for the rest of your life. This is especially true if your blood pressure is very high.
Step 6: Get Quality Sleep
If you have high blood pressure, getting enough sleep can help reduce it. Adults need at least seven hours of sleep a night.
For people who have high blood pressure, getting enough sleep can help to reduce blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, you should try to get enough sleep each night. Getting enough sleep can help to control your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Having high blood pressure can put you at risk for heart disease and stroke. By eating a healthy diet, getting enough exercise, managing your stress and anxiety levels, and taking your blood pressure medication as prescribed, you can lower your blood pressure and protect your health.