May is National Blood Pressure Education Month, the perfect time to explain why controlling blood pressure is crucial for maintaining good health. Here are 8 simple methods that you can follow to reduce the risk of complications associated with high blood pressure:
- Follow a healthy diet. A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy can help control blood pressure.
- Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day can decrease your risk of developing hypertension.
- Exercise regularly. Regular physical activity can help lower blood pressure by strengthening the heart and reducing the amount of work it has to do. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week, such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming.
- Manage stress. Chronic stress can contribute to high blood pressure. Therefore, managing stress through relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can help control blood pressure.
- Monitor your bp at home/get regular check-ups. Regular visits with your provider or at-home monitoring can help to control any blood pressure issues that may arise or develop.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine. Drinking too much alcohol or caffeine can raise blood pressure. You should limit alcoholic and caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, and soda.
- Quit smoking. Smoking can increase blood pressure and damage the blood vessels. Quitting smoking can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health problems.
- Reduce your sodium intake. Most people consume twice the recommended amount of salt per day, around 9-12 grams. Consuming less than 5 grams (about 1 tsp) of salt per day can help to reduce blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and coronary heart attack.
Taking steps to control your blood pressure can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and improve your quality of life. At VRI, we’re here to help!