If you’re like approximately 3 million people in the United States currently trying to learn to live with high blood pressure, then you already know how challenging it can be to try to make sure you stay on track with your health goals to prevent health issues that could result from an exacerbated heart condition. By this point, you’ve likely already conferred with a doctor about the most important measure you need to take to keep your high blood pressure under control. But here are a few important points and tips to keep in mind as you work towards a healthier lifestyle.
The Biggest Takeaways
If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, then your doctor has already told you all of the following things. But just in case they missed a point or you aren’t sure about which aspects of your diagnosis are most important, here’s a brief list to help you keep your thoughts straight and organized:
- You have high blood pressure or cause for concern of high blood pressure if your pressure exceeds the normal rate of 120/80. High blood pressure usually results from many years of unhealthy lifestyle choices but other factors that can increase your risk include age, family history, and race.
- Your diagnosis is serious, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in critical condition. High blood pressure doesn’t always mean you are on your way to serious disease, but it does mean that you could be if you fail to act, and you need to do so without delay.
- The most common culprit in the development of high blood pressure is obesity, but it isn’t the only cause. However, if you are obese or overweight, it’s important that your first and perhaps main goal in controlling your blood pressure is to make sure that you get your weight under control. You should also make sure you are doing an appropriate amount of exercise for your age and health condition.
- It’s very important that you quit other bad habits that could be contributing like smoking, excessive use of alcohol, poor sleeping, or maintaining a very stressful routine.
What Do You Need to Do?
So now you know the basics of managing high blood pressure. So what specific steps do you need to follow in order to make sure your health doesn’t decline from causes that are highly preventable? When it comes to managing high blood pressure, the process is usually easier said than done. Things tend to become simpler the longer you do them, so once you’ve made better health habits a part of your regular routine, you should be good to go with keeping your high blood pressure under control.
- When figuring out how you need to eat in order to maintain and ultimately decrease your blood pressure, it’s important that you make sure to decrease saturated fats and high cholesterol foods in your diet. This will mean eating a diet that focuses mostly on fruits, vegetables, and lean sources protein. While this will be one of the most important aspects of your lifestyle overhaul, you may find it one of the most difficult areas to address, and for that reason it may be useful to you to find a dietician.
- Find ways to quit smoking. If you are actively smoking, this may be an equally challenging proposition as changing your diet. You may find it helpful to check out some alternative options like vaping supplies at NJOY.com, as vaping can be a great option for those who are struggling to quit traditional cigarettes. This is especially true if you feel that quitting smoking has become a pressing need for you, which may be the case if you’ve recently received a diagnosis of high blood pressure.
- Exercise recommendations for most people suggest approximately 30 minutes of vigorous cardiovascular exercise everyday or at least five days a week. You should also try to work your way up to about 20 minutes of strength training about three times a week. If you are worried about how heart troubles will factor into these plans, you should definitely plan to include both a doctor and a personal trainer in all of your plans. You can also try some low impact exercise to start out with, like swimming. Go to your local YMCA and sign up for a membership to get you swimming regularly without paying too much.
There’s no doubt that no one wants to find out that they have high blood pressure. It’s never good news. But on the positive side, if you take the right steps and actions towards improving your lifestyle, you will be able to ensure yourself good news in all future doctor’s appointments. Every time your doctor tells you that you have had an improvement or that you have remained stable, allow yourself to feel good about the progress you’ve made!