More than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure, and many are unaware of it. That’s because hypertension usually causes no symptoms in the early stages. It silently causes damage to the body without your knowledge. Uncontrolled high blood pressure puts you at risk for coronary artery disease, heart failure, stroke, and kidney damage.
Fortunately, you can take steps to lower your blood pressure, and when diet and lifestyle changes alone aren’t enough, there are effective medications that can help bring your blood pressure under control. Lifestyle and diet modifications are often the first line of treatment for hypertension. We’ve compiled five of the most effective ways to lower your blood pressure.
Carrying too much weight places stress on your cardiovascular system and contributes to high blood pressure. The good news is, even modest weight loss cuts blood pressure. So, if you have a lot of weight to lose, focus on first losing just 5-10% of your body weight.
This is a practical goal that can bring your blood pressure to normal if you have stage 1 hypertension, which is defined as a persistent blood pressure ranging from 130/139 over 80/89 mm Hg. For someone who weighs 190 pounds, that’s just 10 to 20 pounds.
Getting exercise on most days of the week is an excellent way to bring your blood pressure down. Aim to get at least 150 minutes of exercise each week. Moderate-intensity exercise gets your heart pumping and helps strengthen your heart. A healthy heart requires less work to circulate blood throughout your body, thus lowering your blood pressure. Exercise benefits your overall health, as well.
Cut the salt
Of all components in the diet, sodium is a significant contributor to high blood pressure. It’s recommended that Americans consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. If you have high blood pressure, it’s best to limit your sodium intake to 1,500 mg or less daily.
The average American consumes 3,400 mg of salt. Most sodium in the diet comes from packaged foods. Cutting back on packaged foods is the best place to start in combating excess sodium in the diet.
Adopt a heart-healthy diet
In addition to cutting back on salt, it’s crucial to adopt a heart-healthy diet. The foods you eat can have a significant impact on your heart and circulatory health. People who make healthy food choices have a lower risk of developing high blood pressure and other chronic diseases.
A heart-healthy diet consists of plenty of fresh or frozen vegetables and fruit, lean protein, whole grains, heart-healthy unsaturated fats, and little added sugar.
Partner with a health care provider
Partnering with an expert physician is a wise step in maintaining wellness. Board-certified internal medicine physician Dr. Pabhdeep Singh and our team are dedicated to helping you stay healthy. A wellness checkup is an excellent place to start. Checking your blood pressure, cholesterol, and other general health parameters provide a good measure of the areas that require special attention. With the help of an expert physician, you can stay on top of your health to feel and function at your best.
To help manage your blood pressure and for all of your general health needs, contact our El Centro, California office at 760-208-1338 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Singh. You can also book online at your convenience.