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Hold the Salt and More: 6 Lifestyle Tips for Lowering Your High Blood Pressure

Hold the Salt and More: 6 Lifestyle Tips for Lowering Your High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a common chronic health condition affecting about 45% of adults in the United States. Uncontrolled, your high blood pressure may increase your risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke.

But you can take steps to lower your numbers — and your risk. When it comes to your high blood pressure, making lifestyle changes is one of the best things you can do to boost your health.

At CHW Cares, our team of medical professionals aims to improve the health of the community we serve from our office in Harlem, New York. Here, we share with you some simple lifestyle tips that can help lower your high blood pressure. 

1. Track your blood pressure

Knowing what your blood pressure numbers are at certain times of the day can help you figure out what makes it go up and down. We check your blood pressure every time you come in for a visit, and you can monitor your blood pressure at home anytime.

Home blood pressure monitors are widely available and affordable, and this simple tool can help you lower your high blood pressure. Use the app that comes with your monitor to keep a record of your numbers so you can track your progress.   

2. Drop those extra pounds

When your weight increases, your blood pressure increases, too. Weight loss is one of the most effective tools for lowering your blood pressure: Losing as little as 10 pounds can lead to a significant improvement in your blood pressure readings. 

If you’re struggling to drop those extra pounds, we can help with our health coaching service.

3. Quit smoking

Nothing is better for your blood pressure or your health than being a nonsmoker.

Each cigarette you smoke causes a temporary increase in blood pressure. When you quit smoking, your blood pressure gradually returns to normal.

Quitting also reduces your risk of developing other health complications associated with cigarettes, like heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer.

4. Get some exercise

Adding 30 minutes of moderate physical activity — a brisk walk around the neighborhood or a bike ride through the park — most days of the week may lower your blood pressure by as much as 8 points

When it comes to getting exercise, consistency is the key. Be sure to choose an activity you enjoy and can easily maintain. If you’re new to exercise or have no idea where or how to start, our physical therapy team can help.

5. Meditate for stress relief

Use your home blood pressure monitor to see how meditation can lower your blood pressure. When feeling stressed, take a blood pressure reading. Then sit in a quiet room in a comfortable chair and concentrate on nothing but your breathing for three minutes. 

Check your blood pressure again. Chances are you’ll see your numbers drop. It’s not always easy to remove stress from your life, but you can take steps to manage your stress and how it affects your health.

6. Eat a healthy diet

An unhealthy diet increases your risk of developing chronic health problems like hypertension, but it’s a controllable risk factor. According to the Mayo Clinic, getting too much sodium and too little potassium in your diet may be one of the factors that contributed to the development of your high blood pressure.

Sodium and potassium affect fluid balance. Too much sodium causes your body to retain fluids, increasing blood pressure. Potassium helps your body get rid of extra fluid, lowering blood pressure. 

You don’t need to follow a complicated diet to reduce sodium and increase potassium. All you need to do is follow a healthy diet filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean sources of protein, low-fat dairy products, and healthy fats. 

We also recommend limiting fast food, boxed meals, and snack foods to keep a lid on your sodium intake.

A few healthy lifestyle changes can create noticeable shifts in your high blood pressure. Let us help you take control of your hypertension and your health. Call our office in New York City, or click the “Book online” button to make an appointment today.

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