High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a serious health concern. It affects about 75 million Americans, and many people aren’t even aware they have it because it causes no symptoms.
Hypertension can be effectively managed with medication and lifestyle changes, including a healthy diet, regular exercise, and reduced stress. Cut back on salt and make other smart lifestyle choices to better your heart health today.
Why control blood pressure
When your heart beats, it pumps blood throughout your body so your organs and tissues receive oxygen and nutrients. During these beats, blood pushes against your blood vessels. Hypertension occurs when this force is too high, possibly causing a heart attack or stroke.
Lose weight to improve blood pressure
People who are overweight or obese are more likely to have high blood pressure. It doesn’t take a lot of weight loss to markedly improve your blood pressure numbers, either. Just a 10-pound loss has a significant impact on lowering hypertensive numbers.
Dr. David Zweiback can help you determine your target weight. We work with you to create a manageable plan for both your eating and exercise routine.
A sedentary lifestyle contributes to hypertension. Add more physical activity to make your heart stronger. A strong heart pumps blood with less effort, lowering the force against your arteries.
Exercise lowers blood pressure over the long term and also immediately following physical activity. For example, 30 minutes of cycling lowers blood pressure for the entire day. Walking, jogging, and dancing are other effective means of movement.
If you’re new to exercise, start with a low volume and intensity and build your stamina. Eventually work your way up to at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week.
Dietary changes are one of the most effective ways to manage blood pressure. Sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars have a negative impact on blood pressure and heart health in general.
Foods to emphasize include whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits, lean meats, beans and legumes, and unsaturated fats. Dr. Zweiback can help you manage your intake of red meat, saturated fats, sodium, and added sugar to keep your blood pressure in a healthy range, too.
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet emphasizes this type of heart-healthy eating pattern and is proven effective at lowering blood pressure.
Keep alcohol intake to a minimum
Drinking too much alcohol raises your blood pressure, so avoid drinking in excess. Women should aim for no more than one drink per day while men can have up to two.
Making changes in your daily life is the first step toward achieving and maintaining a healthy blood pressure. If you find these daily changes aren’t enough to control blood pressure, medications are available to bring blood pressure within a healthy range.
Dr. Zweiback and the friendly staff at our office want to help you achieve the best heart
and blood pressure health possible. Call the office or book an appointment online to get your blood pressure evaluated and take steps to maintain it in a healthy range.