Hypertension and Blood Pressure Slideshow

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  • Doctors are almost certain to recommend a healthier lifestyle to you if you’re diagnosed with hypertension or high blood pressure. Studies have proven that making changes to your daily routine can lower blood pressure and potentially eliminate hypertension. Guidelines in hypertension prevention as well as lowering high blood pressure are usually one and the same.
  • Eat a Balanced Diet Adopting a healthy and balanced diet can help you easily avoid high blood pressure and hypertension. A regimen that is rich in fruits and veggies, as well as nuts, seeds, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean protein sources such as skinless chicken and fish is what doctors recommend. Skipping high saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, and sugars would be ideal. If you can follow these guidelines, then you are on your way to lower blood pressure for sure.
  • Lower Sodium Intake Reducing the amount of sodium you consume can also lower blood pressure. Guidelines state that people should consume less than 2400mg per day, but if you have been diagnosed with either hypertension or high blood pressure then that number should be much smaller. One study showed that a group of people who consumed less than 1500mg of sodium per day showed a significant drop in high blood pressure. Be sure to count the sodium content in packaged foods as well as any table salt you use when determining how much you’re consuming.
  • Keep a Healthy Weight Being overweight can be a major factor in why you have high blood pressure. But losing as little as 10 pounds can lower your blood pressure. By carrying extra weight, you’re not only increasing your risk of high blood pressure, but you are also more likely to develop additional issues such as cholesterol problems or diabetes. Those are just two factors among many that could increase your chances of developing heart disease. Be sure to speak with your doctor if you are overweight. He or she will be able to recommend a diet that would best fit you.
  • Exercise Regularly Being active is one of the surest ways to prevent high blood pressure or control it if you already have the condition. Exercise also contributes to reducing the effects of hypertension. Not only that, but if you get moving, you can reduce stress as well and pare off some pounds. Be sure to consult with your doctor to ensure that it is safe for you to exercise. Thirty minutes of moderate aerobic activity a few times a week would be ideal.
  • Limiting Alcohol Intake Drinking alcohol in moderation is generally not harmful and it can even provide some heart healthy benefits. But drinking too much can lead to significant problems including high blood pressure. Recommended alcohol intake should be one drink per day if you are a female and two drinks per day if you’re a male. Remember one drink is 12oz. of beer, 4oz. of wine, 1.5oz. of 80-proof liquor, or 1 oz. of 100-proof liquor.
  • Quit Smoking to Limit Damage to the Arteries While smoking is not directly linked to the cause of high blood pressure, it can damage the walls of your blood vessels and harden your arteries. This is especially dangerous for people who have high blood pressure. If you don’t smoke, then don’t start. If you do smoke, quit as soon as possible. Kicking the habit has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks along with many other health benefits.
  • Monitor Your Blood Pressure at Home There are usually no warning signs that would indicate you have high blood pressure before it does damage to your body. This is why it is important to keep track of your blood pressure more often than just during your doctor visits. Your blood pressure usually fluctuates in between those visits, so consider purchasing a home monitoring kit. By regularly checking your blood pressure, you have a better idea as to how your blood pressure is doing. It’s better to do this so that way you can report the results to your doctor who can make a more accurate diagnosis on how to help get you back to optimal shape.
  • Mange Stress = Manage Hypertension Stress is a rough thing to manage. It can cause temporary spikes in high blood pressure, but researchers are still unsure on how stress affects blood pressure over the long term. Nevertheless, there is evidence showing that stress can lead to overeating, smoking, and drinking, among other blood pressure-raising activities. So be sure to pay attention to your stress levels and avoid things that would increase your stress. Remember that regular exercise reduces stress as it improves heart health.
  • Practice Relaxation Techniques Taking time to unwind each day may seem like an impossible task to some. But practicing different relaxation techniques such as yoga or tai chi have been known to drastically reduce high blood pressure among other ailments. Find some relaxation techniques that you would enjoy and be sure to practice them on a regular if not daily basis for at least 15-20 minutes. Be sure to focus on the positive things in your life and not just the negative.
  • Taking Blood Pressure Medications It may sound obvious to most, but taking doctor prescribed medication to lower your blood pressure is essential in keeping your blood pressure under control. People forget to take these medications because there are no symptoms for high blood pressure. But you need to be proactive in remembering to take your medications. To help yourself do this, take them at the same time each day, write notes to yourself, and depend on friends and family to provide the gentle reminders you might need. Never skip a dose without consulting with your physician first.