5 Tips to Manage High Blood Pressure

Male doctor checking patient's blood pressure while looking at machine at clinicHigh blood pressure, also called hypertension, can lead to a host of health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure. If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend medication, but there are also lifestyle changes you can make to help manage your condition.

Here are five ways you can start taking control of your blood pressure today!

1. Get Moving

Regular exercise can help lower your blood pressure or prevent slightly high blood pressure (prehypertension) from becoming more serious hypertension. Walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, and dancing are all great ways to lower your blood pressure.

2.  Switch Salt for Spices

Try substituting herbs and spices for salt if you’re cooking. Also avoid high-sodium foods such as salty snacks and processed meats. Many restaurants and fast food places serve items with a high sodium content, so be sure to look up nutritional information. Aim for less than 1,500 mg of sodium a day.

3.  Find Support to Stop Smoking

Each cigarette you smoke temporarily increases your blood pressure. This effect adds up over time. Quitting smoking can substantially increase your life expectancy. You doctor can offer tools and help you develop a plan to quit smoking. You can also look for support groups and programs in your area.

4.  Combat Stress with Relaxation

Chronic stress raises blood pressure. Schedule some down time each day. Try deep breathing in a quiet space for 15 minutes, taking a walk in a park or garden, or listening to soothing music. You may need to experiment to find what works for you.

5.  Forgo the Extra Drink

Alcoholic drinks have the potential to raise blood pressure and reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medication. Talk to your doctor about how many drinks per day are okay to consume, as this number depends on multiple factors including age, gender, and other health conditions.

Need to schedule an annual exam and blood pressure check?

It’s important for everyone – even young adults – to have their blood pressure checked at least once a year. If it’s on the high side, you should have it checked more often.

If you need an annual exam and blood pressure check, or want help managing high blood pressure, make an appointment at any of our LeBauer HealthCare offices with our easy online appointment form. LeBauer has six convenient primary care locations in Greensboro, Burlington, Oak Ridge, High Point, and Whitsett.

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