Taking on high blood pressure can be daunting, but practicing healthy habits can bring you one step closer to managing the battle. You have likely had your blood pressure taken several times before you fully understand why it is being taken and why it is important. Until a doctor explains that you have high blood pressure, those numbers given out after the arm cuff is taken off don’t mean a thing. Being armed with the right information can make taking on high blood pressure happen quicker than you can say “squeeze”.
Knowing Your Facts
140 over 85. Is that OK?
When you have high blood pressure, you understand that the higher number is the Systolic and the lower number is the Diastolic. You also understand that 140 over 85 is not where you want your blood pressure.
The general rule is to get the Systolic number under 120- and the Diastolic number under 80. Your doctor will usually prescribe medicine to treat high blood pressure. However, there are things that can be done outside the doctor’s office to bring your blood pressure numbers down.
- Lose weight — Even losing 10 pounds can make a difference.
- Exercise regularly – Try to get at least 30 minutes a day!
- Adjust your diet — Add in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.
- Limit the alcohol –More than one drink a day for men and women older than 65 can increase risk of high blood pressure. More than two a day for men under 65 increases the same risk.
- Cut back on the salt – You might not notice the high salt content in the food you eat. Getting salt content under control can happen by subbing out salt for herbs or spices instead.
- Quit smoking – Each cigarette increases blood pressure for many minutes after you finish.
- Get enough sleep – Fewer than six hours of sleep for weeks or months at a time can contribute to an increase in blood pressure. It is important to get quality rest!
- Reduce your stress – Easier said than done, but finding ways to keep stressful situations to a minimum can get your blood pressure where it needs to be.
Ask Your Doctor
Taking on high blood pressure with healthy habits is a great place to start. It is also crucial to maintain regular visits to your primary care physician to monitor your blood pressure. Concerned with your routinely high blood pressure? Schedule an appointment to visit with your physician. Click this link to read more about the importance of scheduling that visit.