Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is one of the most common medical conditions among American adults. It can rapidly deteriorate your cardiovascular health and lead to more serious heart conditions if left unchecked.
Here are a few lifestyle changes that you can make to prevent high blood pressure.
Lower Your Sodium Intake
While many people focus on lowering their cholesterol level by reducing their intake of fatty and greasy foods, there’s another ingredient you need to minimize: sodium.
Sodium causes the body to retain more fluid than it would have retained otherwise. This puts stress on the circulatory system and increases blood pressure in the long run. If you want to maintain a healthy diet that helps you prevent hypertension, you need to lower your sodium intake.
Ideally, you should consume between 1,500 and 2,300 mg of sodium per day. This roughly amounts to 1 teaspoon of salt. Gradually start adding less salt to your meals to make this transition. You should also avoid processed foods, which tend to be rich in sodium.
Get Physically Active
Contrary to popular belief, being physically active isn’t restricted to hitting the gym or doing an extensive workout. There are plenty of other ways to get your body moving without the traditional exercises you’re accustomed to.
For instance, you can go for a morning jog or join an online fitness challenge program. Alternatively, you can opt for yoga or Pilates. If these typical exercise and meditation routes aren’t your forte, there are several other exercises you can try. Think of the kinds of activities you enjoy so you can get the most out of the experience.
Individuals who like dancing, for instance, can join dance classes that help them stay physically active. If you enjoy playing a certain sport, make it a regular thing and try to play it at least twice a week. And, hey, if you don’t have the time to drive all the way to dance classes or sports practice sessions, you can always do simple exercises at home. You don’t need a gym to do squats or push-ups, or to jump rope.
While you’re at it, try incorporating more physical activities into your daily routine. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to the cafeteria instead of eating at your desk, and use your breaks to stretch your legs instead of scrolling on your phone.
Work on Reducing Your Stress
Finally, actively work on reducing stress levels. Chronic stress is one of the biggest causes of high blood pressure. If your current lifestyle has you frequently operating in highly stressful situations, you need to make some adjustments.
Start by identifying your stressors. This will allow you to directly address the causes of your stress and make the necessary changes. Sometimes, eliminating these stressors isn’t possible. In that case, practice one or more coping strategies that help you feel more relaxed and in control of things. For instance, you can practice meditation, take up yoga, and even work with a therapist to establish a long-term approach to dealing with stress.
At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, our Heart and Vascular Solutions Center in Webster, TX, treats a wide range of heart conditions, including those related to high blood pressure. Visit our website to find a cardiovascular specialist who’s right for you and your condition.
We also offer pain management remedies, joint surgeries, physical therapy, and other treatments to help patients recover from various ailments.