10 Tips for Managing Your High Blood Pressure

Relying on medication to manage high blood pressure may work for a while, or help lower it initially, but you shouldn’t consider it a long-term cure for hypertension — the silent killer. Instead, it’s a better idea to make some dietary and lifestyle changes that can have long-term effects on your overall health and wellness while keeping your blood pressure in check. 

Here at UrgentMed, with convenient locations in Davie and Plantation, Florida, we offer urgent care and family medicine services, and we help patients of all ages manage a variety of health concerns like high blood pressure. Take a few minutes to learn more about this condition and incorporate our 10 tips for managing it so you can live a healthier life. 

Unmanaged high blood pressure can be deadly

It helps to understand why high blood pressure is so dangerous. Your blood pressure is a measurement of the force with which your blood flows through your veins. If this force is too high, you run the risk of serious health complications, including heart attack, stroke, and chronic kidney disease. 

These effects of high blood pressure often occur without warning, which is why this condition is called the silent killer. If you don’t know you have high blood pressure, we recommend getting it checked as soon as possible. If you do know you have high blood pressure, you can take steps to lower it.

Below are our recommendations for lowering high blood pressure. It takes some effort, but in the long run, living a healthier life and reducing your risk of a dangerous situation is worth it.

1. Get more exercise

Just 30 minutes of exercise a day can lower your blood pressure. And you don’t have to join a gym — go outside and take a walk, go swimming, take a dance class, or lift some weights. Choose activities you enjoy so exercise becomes a fun, regular part of your daily routine. 

2. Eat more fruits and veggies

There’s a nutritional plan to help lower high blood pressure, known as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension — or the DASH diet. On this plan, you eat more fruits and vegetables, consume less saturated fat, and eat more whole grains. This regimen helps boost your potassium intake, which lessens the effects of sodium on blood pressure. 

3. Eat less sodium

This tip goes along with No. 2. Eating healthier also means consuming less sodium (salt) to improve your heart health. Don’t add salt to foods, and read the label on processed foods that contain hidden sodium and preservatives. It’s best to limit how much processed, prepackaged food you eat; select fresh, whole foods instead. 

4. Drink less alcohol

You may be surprised to learn that alcohol raises your blood pressure. Limit alcoholic beverages to no more than one drink a day if you’re a woman and no more than two a day if you’re a man. 

5. Manage your stress effectively

Chronic stress can contribute to high blood pressure. Practice stress-management techniques like taking time to relax, meditating, or walking the dog. Deep breathing helps relieve stress, too. 

6. Quit smoking

There are so many reasons to quit smoking, and here’s another one: A cigarette elevates your blood pressure for several minutes after you’ve smoked it. Quitting can help normalize your blood pressure and improve your health in general. 

7. Lose weight

If you’ve gained a few pounds, getting back to a healthy weight can help lower your blood pressure. This tip goes hand-in-hand with our first two: As you get more exercise and eat healthier foods, you’re bound to lose those extra pounds. 

8. Consume less caffeine

Caffeine can cause a short-term spike in blood pressure, but it doesn’t necessarily contribute to overall high blood pressure. However, if you’re sensitive to the effects of caffeine and you have high blood pressure, cutting back on coffees, teas, and sodas may help lower it.

9. Cut back on carbs

There’s growing evidence that eating refined sugars and carbohydrates may contribute to high blood pressure. A low-carb, low-sugar diet may help you lower your blood pressure, and it can help you lose weight, too.

10. Work with your doctor

Regular doctor’s visits are essential to controlling your high blood pressure. When you come to UrgentMed for blood pressure management, we create a treatment plan based on your individual needs. We provide the support you need to stay on the right track. 

Need help managing your blood pressure? Give us a call at the location most convenient to you, or make an appointment online.

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