One out of every two American adults are affected by high blood pressure. High blood pressure is defined as 130/80 mmHg or greater, measured at rest on two different occasions.
Blood pressure normally fluctuates during the day, but when it stays elevated, it can cause complications such as heart attacks, stroke, and congestive heart failure.
While medication is the simple solution to controlling your blood pressure readings, there are numerous things that can naturally help you manage or even avoid high blood pressure completely.
1. Lose Weight
Weight gain, especially around your midsection, increases your blood pressure. Women with waistlines greater than 35 inches and men with waistlines over 40 inches are in the high-risk category for developing hypertension.
On the flip side, losing even a small amount of weight can be very effective for helping improve blood pressure control.
2. Exercise Often
Becoming more physically active is a great option to help lower blood pressure. Find an activity you enjoy, and stick to it. It doesn’t even have to be particularly strenuous. Activities like walking, dancing and riding a bike all count.
Regular exercise not only keeps blood pressure regulated, but also reduces stress levels. Stress does factor into elevating blood pressure so you are really benefiting yourself in two ways.
3. Eat Healthy
Eating right can help lower blood pressure and maintain those lower readings. Try eating a diet that is filled with fruit, vegetables and whole grains while you limit sodium intake, saturated fat and cholesterol.
Prescription medication can lower blood pressure by an average of 10 points, but so can your diet! An even bigger benefit about a clean diet is the foods are almost always lower in calories, making weight loss easier.
4. Pay Attention to Habits
Alcohol appears to help lower the risk of heart disease, in controlled amounts of course. On the other hand, it is a source of empty calories and can independently raise blood pressure. If you drink more than one drink per day while hoping to lose weight and lower your blood pressure, it will be difficult.
Smoking causes blood pressure to go up. The components in tobacco smoke narrow your blood vessels, which increase your blood pressure readings. And if that’s not bad enough, smoking also raises the risk of a heart attack, stroke and cancer.
High blood pressure is often called the ‘silent killer’ which is why it should not be ignored. Whether you take the more natural approach or take medication (or both), it is very important that high blood pressure is treated and controlled.
At Preventive Cardiology Clinic, care begins with a conversation. We spend time with you to really learn about what symptoms you are experiencing, what your risk factors are, and what you hope to achieve in terms of your health. A typical first consultation with Dr. Klodas takes approximately one hour. During that time, we will go over your general health history, your heart history, your cardiac risk factors and your diet. Please call 952-929-5600 to schedule your consultation today. Learn more.