High blood pressure, also sometimes referred to as hypertension, affects approximately one in every three adults in the United States.
High blood pressure can injure vascular walls, make your heart pump harder, and prevent tissue in the body from receiving adequate amounts of oxygen-rich blood. Possible consequences of untreated high blood pressure include heart disease, heart attack, stroke, kidney damage, erectile dysfunction, vision loss and more. Here are some things you can do to help lower your high blood pressure:
• Eat a healthy diet. The DASH diet is often recommended for people looking to lower high blood pressure.
• Exercise. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderately intense physical activity at least 5 days a week. And you can even break your exercise sessions into 10-minute intervals. Talk with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
• Maintain a healthy weight. Calculate your body mass index, or BMI, and discuss the definition of a healthy weight with your doctor.
• Limit alcohol consumption. Women are advised to have no more than one drink per day, while it’s recommended that men have no more than two.
• Don’t smoke. Smoking is detrimental to blood vessels. If you smoke, make a plan to quit.
• Find effective ways to manage stress. Try journaling, meditating, practicing yoga, or find other healthy outlets for managing daily stresses.
• Talk with your doctor about prescription medication to help reduce your blood pressure. Remember that medications often have side effects, and that even if your doctor recommends medication it will likely be in addition to making healthy lifestyle changes.
To learn more about hypertension, including ways to lower your high blood pressure, visit Central Florida Regional Hospital online or call our Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-800-445-3392.