How to Take Control of Your Blood Pressure for Good
February is American Heart Month and may be the right time for you to make big decisions that improve your health for years to come. If you have been diagnosed with hypertension, or high blood pressure, it is important to take control sooner rather than later. There is no cure for high blood pressure, but you can bring your blood pressure levels down with these simple long-term changes.
Find a Salt Substitute
Your diet is a critical player in your blood pressure management , so you should start making healthier decisions, such as chicken over beef or salad over French Fries. One area you may struggle with is your salt intake. It can be hard to give up salt, but it can be done if you get creative about your spice selections. If you like things spicy, try using hot sauce to dress up your food—just make sure that it has no added sodium. Fresh herbs, garlic powder, and cracked black pepper can also add flavor without increasing your salt intake.
Cut Out Alcohol
It is best to stop drinking alcohol completely to manage your blood pressure. If you still want to enjoy the occasional drink, be sure to limit yourself so you are not indulging in more than one or two drinks a day.
Explore New Types of Physical Activity
You simply cannot lower your blood pressure without exercising, but you do not have to be limited to certain activities. You may not like going to the gym, but you might have fun dancing or taking a fitness class with friends. Take any opportunity to get moving, and set a goal to get at least three hours of physical activity each week.
Ignoring your high blood pressure is one of the worst moves you can make. You should check your numbers regularly and communicate with your doctor about your plans to take control. Your doctor may offer some help with blood pressure medication, but this will only be effective if you do your part.
You can learn more about your blood pressure management and heart health with the Heart Center at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center. To connect with us, visit our website or call (702) 233-5300 for our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line.