Tips for Keeping Your Blood Pressure Under Control
Roughly one out of three American adults has high blood pressure. Often, high blood pressure causes no symptoms. But it puts people at risk of serious health problems, including heart attack , stroke, and kidney disease.
You can bring high blood pressure under control with many steps:
- Know your blood pressure. You may have high blood pressure and not even know it. Having your blood pressure measured is the first step toward controlling it. The American Heart Association recommends that adults have a health care provider check their blood pressure at least every two years.
- Shedding pounds. If you’re carrying around too much body weight, trimming down can help lower your blood pressure. You don’t even have to get thin to see results – losing just 10 pounds can help.
- Get moving. Becoming more physically active can help you control high blood pressure. Simply walking 30 minutes a day on most days of the week is an inexpensive and easy way to get blood pressure-lowering exercise.
- Eat differently. An eating style that’s been shown to lower high blood pressure – the DASH diet – includes lots of fruits and vegetables and an ample amount of low-fat dairy, whole grains, and and fish. It provides less red meat and sugary treats and drinks. In addition, cutting sodium down to 2,400 milligrams a day – or even 1,500 milligrams in some cases – may improve your high blood pressure.
- Cut back on alcohol. Drinking excessively can make your blood pressure go up. If you drink, be sure to keep it moderate. That means no more than two drinks daily for men or one for women.
- Talk to your doctor. Some people need to use medications in addition to these other changes to lower their blood pressure. A variety of medicines are available to treat high blood pressure. If necessary, talk with your doctor to devise a medication plan that meets your needs. You may need to take one or more medicines long-term – and they don’t help you if you stop taking them.
Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center has been providing top-notch cardiology care for more than four decades. We provide a full range of heart care, from diagnosing heart problems to open heart surgery to cardiac rehabilitation. To find a Los Robles Hospital physician who specializes in heart care, contact Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center toll-free at (805) 497-2727.