According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 75 million Americans suffer from high blood pressure. That means 1 in 3 every 3 U.S. adults. Without properly reducing it, high blood pressure can lead to heart disease and strokes. May is National High Blood Pressure month and in order to bring awareness, we are sharing 7 ways you can reduce high blood pressure.
- Get checked
Did you know that 1 in 5 Americans don’t even know that they have high blood pressure? The first thing you should do is to get your blood pressure checked by your health care provider. Being aware of how high your blood pressure is the first step to preventing heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, and kidney disease.
- Lose weight
As your weight increases so does your blood pressure. If you find yourself overweight or obese take steps to lose some extra weight. Not only will this help lower your blood pressure but it will also keep you healthier and fit.
- Reduce your stress
Chronic stress can increase your blood pressure. In order to prevent that make some lifestyle changes. Do activities that give you joy and make you feel relaxed. Avoid stressful situations and cut off stressful relationships. Try meditating and don’t overwhelm yourself with too many tasks.
- Limit your alcohol use
Drinking more than moderate amounts of alcohol has been shown to raise blood pressure by 1mm Hg for every 10 grams of alcohol consumed. The moderate amount of alcohol you should consume a day is one drink for women and two drinks for me.
- Exercise consistently
Regularly increasing your heart and breathing rates make your heart stronger and essentially helps keep your blood pressure at a normal rate. Consistent exercise can lower your blood pressure by 5 to 8 mm Hg if you already have high blood pressure. Try exercising for about 30-40 minutes a day.
- Maintain a healthy diet
A diet filled with good nutrients from fruit, vegetables, and whole grains can lower your blood pressure by 11 mm Hg if your blood pressure is already high. Be intentional about what you put into your body. Eat more potassium and reduce your sodium intake. Also, try your best to eliminate processed foods from your diet.
- Quit smoking
Each time you smoke it automatically causes a temporary increase in your blood pressure and heart rate. Tobacco can negatively affect your blood vessels which can eventually lead to high blood pressure. In general, smoking is not good for your body, and eliminating it from your lifestyle will reduce your risk of heart disease and benefit your health.
In honor of National High Blood Pressure Month, make lifestyle changes and utilize these tips to keep you’re your blood pressure low and keep yourself healthy. You may also like: 4 Ways to Develop Healthy Eating Habits and 5 Tips to Take Control of Your Anxiety.