3 Lifestyle Changes You Can Make to Treat Hypertension

High blood pressure is a serious condition that raises your risk of heart attack or stroke. While medications can often control it, they can have unwanted side effects that you’d like to avoid. Your lifestyle plays an important role in your ability to control your blood pressure.

These tips from our medical experts at Washington Healthcare Center can help you manage your blood pressure naturally so you need less medication, or none at all.

Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight

When you’re overweight or obese, you’re at a greater risk of developing high blood pressure. By losing excess pounds, you have a better chance of avoiding hypertension or lowering high blood pressure. For every 2.2 pounds you lose (or 1 kilogram), you tend to experience a 1 millimeter of mercury drop in your blood pressure.

Especially serious is the weight you carry in your abdomen. Men who have a waist circumference greater than 40 inches and women with a waist larger than 35 inches may be at the greatest risk of hypertension and other chronic diseases. At Washington Healthcare, we can help you lose weight safely and effectively.

Eat a healthy low-sodium diet

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, diet can lower your blood pressure notably. It includes plentiful amounts of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy. You avoid saturated fat and high cholesterol foods. At Washington Healthcare Center, we can help you change your eating habits to follow this more healthy plan.

You can keep track of what you eat using an app to help you understand what you really are eating. You may be surprised how much small snacks and treats add up. We can help you develop a shopping list and provide recipes to create a more healthy menu at home. Tips for when you eat out are also available.

When you eat well, you reduce inflammation in your body and are more likely to have fewer problems with blood pressure.

Reducing your intake of sodium can also improve your heart health and reduce your blood pressure levels. Aim for no more than 2,300 milligrams per day and less than 1,500 milligrams if you have high blood pressure. Avoid processed foods, season your foods with spices and citrus, read food labels, and go slowly in reducing sodium so your palate can adjust.

Get moving

Exercise is powerful. It helps you control your weight, which is important to lowering your blood pressure, and it boosts your heart health. Aim for at least 150 minutes per week, which comes out to just 30 minutes most days, to lower your blood pressure and experience a myriad of other health benefits.

Exercise doesn’t have to be rigorous to be effective. Walking, dancing, and swimming are all options. Find an activity you enjoy so you make it a habit rather than a chore you seek to avoid. Resistance training using weights, machines, your body weight, or exercise tubing is also effective in lowering your blood pressure.

Talk to our team about how to get started on an exercise program today to reap the health rewards.

At Washington Healthcare, we want to help our patients manage chronic conditions with minimal drug intervention. Ask about how to incorporate these blood-pressure lowering strategies into your life to live healthier and longer. Contact us today for a consultation.

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