World Hypertension Day, celebrated annually on May 17th, serves as a formal occasion to emphasize opportunities to improve prevention and control of hypertension – also known a high blood pressure. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hypertension is a serious health issue affecting 67 million Americans, that’s one in every three adults and millions more teens and children.
High blood pressure is a common problem in which the force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually put you at risk for life threatening health conditions. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, the first and fourth leading causes of death for all Americans. As highlighted in the recent global burden of disease study increased blood pressure is the leading risk for death and disability around the world.
Hypertension is a “silent disease,” often without warning signs or symptoms. Fortunately, there’s more than medication that can help lower your blood pressure – making the proper lifestyle choices can help control blood pressure as well. Incorporate these 5 tips into your daily routine to help properly control and monitor your blood pressure.
5 Tips to Control Hypertension
- Exercise on a Regular Basis– In order to stay healthy it’s important to get active and maintain a healthy weight. Regular physical activity has been shown to reduce blood pressure and may bring you back to a safe level. People who are physically active have a lower risk of getting high blood pressure — 20% to 50% lower — than people who are not active. You don’t have to be a triathlete to benefit from physical activity. According to the American Heart Association even light activities, if done on a regular basis, can help lower your risk. The general rule is that it’s best to aim for 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week.
- Stick to a Healthy Diet – According to webmd.com being overweight can make you two to six times more likely to develop high blood pressure than if you are at your desirable weight. Even small amounts of weight loss can make a big difference in helping to prevent and treat high blood pressure. While it’s okay to indulge occasionally, keep your diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. Avoiding saturated fat and cholesterol, and reducing sodium can help reduce blood pressure. Follow the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH), a flexible and balanced eating plan, for a healthy diet and stable blood pressure.
- Incorporate Home Monitoring – Don’t wait until your next doctor’s appointment; take readings at home with a remote blood pressure monitoring system such as the IDEAL LIFE BP Manager™. This product allows you to take a reading in the comfort of your home and transmit it directly to your physician. By monitoring your blood pressure regularly high blood pressure is more likely to be detected before drastic health risks occur. This reliable blood pressure monitor is an easy-to-use device that quickly and accurately measures upper arm blood pressure and heart rate, and automatically and wirelessly communicates that data to your healthcare team.
- Reduce Your Stress – Stress has been routinely linked to potential increases in blood pressure. The American Heart Association maintains that we can all fight stress by incorporating healthy habits into our busy lives. When you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious, consider meditating, getting a massage or practice a mindful low impact exercise like yoga. Stress can make blood pressure go up, and over time may contribute to the cause of hypertension. In today’s fast-paced world filled with increasing demands, it’s very important to manage your stress level in an effort to control your blood pressure.
- Watch What You Drink – The Mayo Clinic reports that if not consumed in moderation both caffeine and alcohol can raise your blood pressure by several points. To help prevent high blood pressure, and for overall health, the “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” recommends that you limit the amount of alcohol you drink to no more than two drinks a day for men and no more than one drink a day for women. The Mayo Clinic suggests that if you have high blood pressure you should ask your doctor whether you should limit or stop drinking caffeinated beverages. If you’re concerned about caffeine’s effect on your blood pressure, try limiting the amount of caffeine you drink to no more than two 12-ounce cups of brewed coffee.
According to webmd.com less than half of those suffering from high blood pressure, 47 percent, have their condition under control. Additional research indicates that when your blood pressure is high, you are 4 times more likely to die from a stroke, and you are 3 times more likely to die from heart disease. By being proactive and monitoring your blood pressure on a regular basis, potential hypertension can hopefully be caught before more severe health conditions develop.
Disclaimer: Content and suggestions provided within should not be construed as a formal recommendation. Neither AJA Associates, LLC or Alexis Abramson, PhD make any representations, endorsements or warranties relating to the accuracy, use or completeness of the information.