Recently, the American Heart Association lowered the bar for high blood pressure from 140/90 to 130/80. These guidelines are based on the detection, prevention, management, and treatment of high blood pressure. For many Americans, this means that they are at higher risk than they once were.
If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, along with 75 million other Americans, your risks are even higher. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are several lifestyle changes you can make to lower your blood pressure and keep it in a healthy range:
- Lose a few. Blood pressure increase as weight increase, dropping excess weight is one of the most effective ways of gaining control.
- Exercise regularly. Consistent physical activity can help lower blood pressure and even avoid hypertension. Try walking or swimming 30 minutes a day.
- Eat healthy. Consider the “DASH” diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. This nutritional approach encourages consuming foods that are rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. It has been proven to decrease the risk of high blood pressure tremendously.
- Say no to sodium. According to Mayo Clinic studies, a small reduction in sodium can reduce blood pressure. Practice steps that can help include checking food labels, limiting intake of processed foods, and limiting salt intake with each meal.
Reducing high blood pressure requires knowing the risk factors, symptoms, and implementation of a treatment process that may involve medication or other treatments.
Talk to your physician if you struggle with high blood pressure and together you can find a manageable solution that will help you. Shell Point residents benefit from a full-time, onsite medical team and wide variety of services designed specifically for the unique health needs of senior adults.