Take Action to Control Your High Blood Pressure
The good news is that there are steps you can take to lower your high blood pressure. That translates into better health today—and in the future. These tips can help:
Lose weight if necessary. Losing extra pounds can make a difference. For some people, weight loss may be all that’s needed to lower blood pressure. For others, losing weight may reduce the amount of medication needed to manage high blood pressure. Take it one step at a time, reducing fats as well as overall calories. Can’t resist desserts? Take a half-portion. Adding more fiber and vegetables to your diet will help you feel full. Talk with your doctor about strategies for losing weight and staying healthy.
Be physically active. Exercise goes hand in hand with losing weight. However, even if your weight is on target you still need regular physical activity. In addition to lowering your blood pressure, it makes you feel and look better. An exercise plan also can help reduce your risk of heart attack and other health concerns. Biking, running and swimming are great options. Walking also is excellent exercise and offers lots of health benefits.
Choose foods low in salt and sodium. Use less salt when you cook and don’t add salt at the table. This might be a hard habit to break. Try sprinkling different spices on foods to add flavor. Once you break the salt habit, you’ll find foods really are tastier without it. Read nutrition labels for salt or sodium content. You may be surprised to see high levels in foods you’d never suspect as “salty.”
Limit your alcohol intake. If you don’t drink, it’s best not to start. If you drink, limit your alcohol intake to no more than one or two drinks a day. Talk with your doctor about the effect of alcohol on your blood pressure, and any possible interactions with your medication.
Take your medication. If your doctor has prescribed high blood pressure pills, take them as directed. Don’t skip them just because you don’t feel any symptoms. Pay attention to how your medicine makes you feel. If you have a side effect, such as dizziness, sleepiness or some other problem, don’t stop taking your medication—be sure to tell your doctor about it right away. You may be directed to change your dosage, or a different medicine may be recommended.
Upcoming Wellness Events
- May 24, 11am-12pm: Free Yoga at Yates Field House
- May 30, 12:30pm-1pm: Weekly Walk with Charles DeSantis
- May 30, 1pm-2pm: Bike Commuting 101
- May 31, 11am-12pm: Free Yoga at Yates Field House