Take Control Of High BP

Hypertension, or high blood pressure (BP), is very common in the US, with a recent study finding that nearly half of all Americans have the condition. When adjusting for race, the figures show a higher incidence in people that identify as Black. Men and individuals that classify as older or obese also have a greater chance of developing hypertension. However, of this total figure of people with hypertension, only 39.64% are taking medications to control the disease. Even more astonishing is that many individuals can avoid developing high BY altogether by making simple lifestyle changes.

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Healthy diet, healthy heart

Although diet alone isn’t enough to prevent developing diseases, research continues to demonstrate a correlation between poor food choices and hypertension. In particular, avoiding fatty foods, high salt consumption, and too many sugary foods can all aid in reducing a person’s risk. Consider incorporating the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Eating Plan, a solution focused on whole grains, produce, low-fat or fat-free dairy and meats, and a reduced intake of foods high in saturated fats or sugars.

Limit vices

Smoking is the vice that keeps on giving. Along with premature aging and lung damage, smoking can also cause blood pressure to spike. Individuals that are currently using tobacco products are encouraged to quit. Opting for a smoking cessation program can also yield benefits by reducing a person’s risk of developing heart disease. Likewise, individuals that drink alcohol should learn to do so in moderation, as excessive consumption is also linked with poor health outcomes.

Reach a healthy weight

Packing on the pounds can do more than impact a person’s body image. Carrying excess weight can also encourage health issues like hypertension. A body mass index (BMI) within the overweight or obese categories can increase an individual’s chances of developing high blood pressure. Consider speaking with a physician to determine a target BMI and an effective plan to achieve that goal.

Get active

Along with reaching a healthy weight, getting and staying active can also aid in keeping BP down. Focus on achieving 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous exercise. For individuals just beginning a workout plan, consider low-impact options like walking or swimming.

Control stress

For many people, stress is an inevitable part of life. Whether facing a big presentation or running to catch the bus, people will all experience stress at some point. However, for some individuals, constant scenarios like demanding jobs or troubling relationships that lead to elevated, sustained heart rates can be a problem. Learning how to control stress, either through mindfulness, talk therapy, or even lifestyle changes, may be necessary to prevent hypertension.

Get smart about hypertension

Just because some segments of the population might be predisposed to hypertension doesn’t mean the diagnosis is inevitable. Along with routine medical checkups, people should proactively adopt a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure. When in doubt, consider speaking with a healthcare provider for more tips to reduce the risk of hypertension.