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Chronically high blood pressure puts you at risk of heart attacks or strokes, but many adults don’t know that they even have high blood pressure. That’s particularly true in younger people, who might not attend annual checkups with a doctor. Yet, one in three adults has high blood pressure and faces increase risk due to the condition. So it’s important to have your blood pressure checked and follow your doctor’s advice.
In some cases, medication is needed to control blood pressure. If you’ve been prescribed medication, keep taking it according to your doctor’s orders. But for those of you whose blood pressure is just a bit on the high side, or those who feel they’re at risk of developing high blood pressure, there are things you can do to get it under control before it gets to the point of needing a prescription.
Manage your stress. Stress prompts the production of hormones like cortisol, which increase your blood pressure. So yes, your mind really does control your body! But most people can’t reduce stress simply because they’ve decided to feel less stressed. You need to implement daily habits, such as establishing a good sleep routine, getting outside more, enjoying some form of exercise, seeing a counselor reguluarly, and engaging in activities you find relaxing. Setting firm boundaries with difficult people in your life can also bring you more peace.
Move frequently. Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for high blood pressure. But even if you struggle to find the time for a full workout, any movement is better than none! Take the stairs instead of the elevator, go for a five-minute walk on your bathroom breaks, and do your shopping at the mall instead of online. Find small ways to add more movement to your days, preferably every hour or two.
Eat a heart-healthy diet. The Mediterranean diet has been identified as one of the best eating plans for controlling blood pressure and warding off other chronic health conditions. Focus on lean meats, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and unsaturated fats like olive oil and avocados.
Again, we should stress the importance of having your blood presure checked and following your doctor’s advice. But because a healthy diet, regular movement, and stress reduction can help to lower blood pressure, everyone at risk should pursue the above goals. These are also the staples of a medical weight loss diet, so following these tips can help you in more ways than one! Contact our office to learn more, and we’ll help you get started on a plan toward better health.