If you were recently diagnosed with hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, you are not alone. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70 million U.S. adults suffer from this disease. However, you do not have to rely entirely on medication to control your high blood pressure. If you make some simple lifestyle changes, you can live a healthier life. Here are seven effective ways to deal with hypertension:
Limit Sodium in Your Diet
One of the best things you can do for your hypertension is reduce sodium in your diet. According to Blood Pressure UK, when you eat too much salt, your body stores excess water, which can raise your blood pressure. Including too many salty foods in your diet can also make blood pressure medicine less effective. Try not to eat more than 6 grams of salt a day. Instead of putting salt on your foods, use healthier seasonings like cumin or basil. Also, limit your consumption of processed foods, as they tend to contain a lot of salt.
Manage Your Stress
Although it is normal to get stressed from time to time, having too much anxiety can raise your blood pressure. Whether your stress is due to your job or issues at home, it is possible to manage it. The first thing you have to do is figure out your stress triggers and avoid them as often as you can. For example, if driving to work in rush hour traffic increases your anxiety, try leaving a little early every morning. Also, make time to do relaxing activities every day, such as yoga, meditation or brisk walking.
Include Potassium in Your Diet
If you have high blood pressure, it is important to include potassium in your diet. According to the American Heart Association, you should try to eat 4,700 milligrams of potassium each day. Good sources of potassium include peas, potatoes, tuna, bananas and raisins.
Another effective way to lower your blood pressure is to do regular cardiovascular exercises. These workouts help the heart use oxygen better, so it does not use as much energy to pump blood. For example, you could go on 30-minute power walks four to five times a week. Other great cardiovascular exercises include swimming, running and biking.
If you are currently overweight, losing even 10 to 15 pounds can do wonders for your blood pressure. According to Best Health Magazine, you have to cut 500 calories a day to lose a pound a week. You can eliminate these calories through diet and exercise. If you just eat nutritious foods, like whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and work out most days out of the week, you can drop the weight and get healthy.
Cut Back on Alcohol
Drinking too many alcoholic beverages every week is not good for your blood pressure or health. If you still enjoy having a cocktail on occasion, try not to have more than one drink per night. For example, you could have one glass of wine with your dinner.
Smoking can have many negative effects on your health, including raising your blood pressure. If you smoke tobacco, you will have a difficult time controlling your blood pressure. Putting down the cigarette can improve your blood pressure and the rest of your health.
It is possible to live a healthy and fulfilling life with high blood pressure. If you follow these helpful tips, you can lower your blood pressure and feel a lot better. However, if you still can't control your hypertension, make an appointment with your doctor soon at a medical center like Premier Urgent Care Centers of California, Inc.
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