What should I do if I’m diagnosed with High Blood Pressure?
Fortunately, there are several things you can do if you are diagnosed with high blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, consider curbing the common causes of hypertension:
- Improve your diet: Eat more fresh produce, high-fiber foods, and lean protein. Reduce your sodium intake.
- Exercise regularly: Work out at least 30 minutes per day, fives times a week. Include muscle-strengthening exercise at least twice per week.
- Keep a healthy weight: If you are overweight or obese, consult with your doctor to see how you can reduce your weight in a healthy manner.
- Reduce Stress: High stress levels may have a negative impact on your overall health, including you blood pressure, so try avoiding very stressful situations and/or practice stress management techniques.
- Stop smoking: Smoke (both first- and secondhand) temporarily increases blood pressure and can contribute to cardiovascular diseases, among others.
- Take medications: If your blood pressure is at least 140/90 and you have been prescribed antihypertensive medication, take it as directed.
- Limit alcohol: For men, this means a maximum of two drinks per day, whereas women should not drink more than one drink per day.
- Be careful with heat: Very hot and humid environment, including hot tubs and saunas, can lead your blood pressure to rise.
Take a blood pressure tests regularly: If you have normal blood pressure, the American Heart Association recommends having your blood pressure taken every two years. If your blood pressure is high, your doctor may want to take several readings and/or have you monitor it at home.