High blood pressure, or hypertension, can damage blood vessels and lead to serious health problems. Using medications as prescribed and making lifestyle changes can enhance your quality of life and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and more. Here are four lifestyle changes you can make to lower your blood pressure and keep it down.
Regular physical activity can lower blood pressure significantly. Aim for 150 minutes of exercise per week, or about 30 minutes a day, to help avoid developing hypertension. Try low-impact exercises such as walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or dancing. Talk to your doctor about developing an exercise plan that’s right for you.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating whole grains, vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products is a great way to lower your blood pressure. Adopt healthier eating habits by being a smart shopper and reading food labels when you shop. Avoid foods that contain saturated fats and cholesterol. Consider using an app like MyFitnessPal to track food and nutrition information.
Reduce Your Sodium Intake
Sodium affects everyone differently, but consuming high amounts of salt can increase your blood pressure. Adults should consume 1,500 mg or less a day to help keep their blood pressure at an optimal level. Even a small reduction can help improve your heart health and reduce blood pressure levels.
Reduce Your Stress
Stress can contribute to high blood pressure. Take time to think about what’s causing you stress, and consider how you can eliminate or reduce that stress. Regular exercise, good sleep, healthy eating and meditation are all ways that will help reduce stress. Avoid stress triggers, make time to relax and do activities you enjoy.
Am I a Candidate?
Determine if you are at risk for developing or already have symptoms for venous disease.