Hypertension, or high blood pressure, increases your risk of major health complications such as heart attack and stroke. Unfortunately, some risk factors for high blood pressure, such as age, gender and family history, are unavoidable. The good news is that you can still do plenty of things to reduce your risk of hypertension, or lower your blood pressure if you’ve already been diagnosed.
Change Your Diet
A diet high in sodium and saturated fat increases the risk of high blood pressure, while fiber and protein are excellent choices for reducing it. Replacing unhealthy snacks with fruits and vegetables is a great place to start. The National Institute of Health has created the DASH Eating Plan. The “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension” is flexible, making it easier to adjust to and stick with over time.
Obesity is a primary cause of hypertension, and losing just a few pounds could significantly affect your average blood pressure. If this has been difficult in the past, working with your primary care team on a weight loss plan could be the answer.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days per week for most adults. This could be brisk walking, swimming, bicycling or even a group fitness class. Be sure to discuss an exercise plan with your doctor.
More resources and support tools exist for those quitting tobacco than ever before. While nicotine is addictive and quitting smoking or other tobacco use is difficult, it is not impossible. The CDC has a guide for how to quit smoking with tips, apps, tools and more.
Limit Alcohol Intake
According to the Mayo Clinic, your blood pressure increases temporarily when you drink three or more alcoholic beverages in one sitting. More than three drinks or binge drinking leads to chronic hypertension and increased risk for other serious health complications.
Make Sleep a Priority
Proper sleep can help reduce blood pressure with reduced stress and improved metabolism. Chronic sleep issues can further complicate high blood pressure, especially if those sleep problems are caused by apnea or other conditions that can contribute to health complications. If you experience trouble sleeping, a conversation with your doctor may be able to help.
With lifestyle changes and proper medication management, controlling your hypertension is possible. If you have high blood pressure or are at risk of developing it, turn to Rapid Immediate Care, with two convenient locations in Crystal Lake or Hoffman Estates.
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741 McHenry Ave Ste C
Crystal Lake, IL 60014
Phone: (815) 770-2780