Nearly half of adult Americans have high blood pressure. We here at South Plains Rural Health Services want to understand the seriousness of a hypertension diagnosis. Without management or treatment, hypertension can lead to heart problems, stroke, vision problems, sexual dysfunction, and kidney damage.
Blood pressure is a measure of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Your blood pressure levels normally fluctuate during the day, but when it stays high for too long, it can cause serious health problems.
A few simple lifestyle changes can help you avoid developing high blood pressure, or hypertension. And, if you already have it, these tips can help you get a handle on your symptoms and even bring your numbers back to normal.
1. The DASH diet
The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet effectively addresses high blood pressure by emphasizing reduced sodium intake, increased consumption of potassium, magnesium, and calcium-rich foods. The diet is also rich in fiber from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. By incorporating lean proteins and low-fat dairy, the diet aids in blood pressure management while maintaining a balanced macronutrient profile.
This dietary approach creates an ideal nutritional environment that supports better blood pressure regulation, overall heart health, and reduced cardiovascular disease risk.
2. Physical movement
Movement is a powerful way to prevent or reverse hypertension. Whether you're strolling in the park, cycling through your neighborhood, or dancing to your favorite tunes, you're doing your heart a world of good. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week, and don't forget to sprinkle in some muscle-strengthening activities. Of course, if you get more exercise than that recommendation – it’s a win!
3. Healthy weight
Weight loss is about more than the way you look. It supports a healthy heart. Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise can help crush hypertension. Bid farewell to those sneaky pounds, and say hello to a healthier, more vibrant you. We can help.
4. Stress management
Learning to manage stress in a fast-paced world is critical to your heart health. Explore relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing, yoga, and mindfulness. They aren’t just buzzwords; they're your ticket to a more tranquil existence, and they can significantly impact your blood pressure.
5. Alcohol moderation
Excessive alcohol intake can elevate your blood pressure levels. A little indulgence won't hurt, but focus on moderation. If you enjoy an occasional drink, keep it to a maximum of two for men and one for women per day. Consuming more than these amounts can lead to increased blood pressure, putting additional strain on your heart and blood vessels.
Every small step counts when it comes to preventing or controlling high blood pressure. Remember, that you won’t know you have blood pressure without regular checkups. Symptoms of the condition only show up once it’s reached a crisis state.
Make your appointment today, so we can work together to help you keep hypertension and other chronic diseases managed. Call us at South Plains Rural Health today, or use our online scheduling tool to book your appointment.