High blood pressure is a multifaceted condition that affects a significant amount of the population. The NIH estimates that around 31% of the global population suffers from high blood pressure, which is a staggering 1.3 billion people! If high blood pressure develops into a chronic condition, you could be at an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery disease among many others. Needless to say, managing and ensuring you have normal blood pressure can ward off chronic disease and increase longevity.
The team of experts at Centerville Medical Center in Garland, TX has helped so many of our patients manage and maintain healthy blood pressure through both medical and non-medical means. Our medication protocols can help patients see immediate results, but it through lifestyle changes that the best and most lasting results can be achieved. Below is a list of 5 lifestyle changes that can lower or regulate abnormally high blood pressure for a healthier heart.
Blood Pressure Management
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Physical exercise is known to have holistic benefits for your body and mind, primarily among those is your circulatory and cardiovascular system. Experts recommend two hours of physical activity per week to see the lasting effects. Exercise teaches your body to operate at higher levels of function, using less oxygen and while also strengthening your heart.
Aerobic and cardiovascular exercise improves the circulatory system within the body, enabling more efficient and fluid movement of blood through your arteries. This, in turn, eases strain being placed on your heart and helps deter the additional risk of heart disease.
Healthy, Balanced Diet
For some reason, healthy diets get a bad rap. They are positioned as bland and boring, as people often make the mistake of thinking that being healthy means sacrificing the things they love. A healthy diet isn’t about being perfect, it is striking a balance. If you are ingesting too much sugar, salt, bad fats, and cholesterol, you are putting yourself at risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
Simply by reducing or eliminating these problematic foods, you can make progress towards a healthier, more efficient circulatory system. That being said, there are plenty of delicious foods that have incredible heart health benefits such as:
- Whole grains
- Leafy Greens
- Fruits (berries)
You should try to find foods that are rich in the following nutrients, as they have been shown to directly influence and manage high blood pressure
- B Vitamins
CMC offers a comprehensive wellness program that helps patients build healthy habits and prevent chronic disease, click here to read more!
Limit Sodium Intake
Salt, or sodium, is one of the most problematic food additives when it comes to heart health and regular blood pressure. The daily recommended intake is equivalent to a single, level teaspoon of salt, although many of us ingest much more than that. According to the NIH, if each of us reduced our sodium intake by 3g per day, it would save the country 24 billion dollars in annual medical costs.
Salt is useful in certain quantities and serves a purpose in our diet. It becomes problematic in higher concentrations, where it influences the body’s water retention and causes the vessels and arteries in the body to restrict and stiffen. This directly affects your blood pressure, leading to heart conditions and disease.
Simply by avoiding processed foods or foods with added salt, you can make significant progress toward limiting your sodium intake. The best thing you can do is to make it a habit to check food labels, be conscious of your sodium intake, and make the right choices.
Stress both directly and indirectly affects your blood pressure. Chronic stress leads to the release of stress hormones and adrenaline which have an adverse effect on your heart over time.
Persistent stress also leads to situational and behavioral health sacrifices. Patients who are constantly stressed often have difficulties sleeping or make unhealthy choices in moments of stress. Choices like drinking, smoking, or indulging in unhealthy food to help cope with their stress.
Avoid stressful triggers – people at work, topics of conversation, activities, or hobbies that cause you undue stress should be avoided or approached from a different mindset
Practice Gratitude – taking note of everything you are grateful for on a daily basis can be incredibly cathartic and stress relieving. Simply by taking time to appreciate what you have, your problems will fall away
Practice Mindfulness – the practice of being aware of your thoughts, being present, and not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. A calm mind is important for relieving stress.
Value time off – we allot time for just about everything in our day, but we rarely set aside time to truly unwind. Having even 15 minutes a day to meditate or rest silently can relieve stress and let you reset throughout the day.
Physical exercise – working out is one of many actions that is rewarded by your brain. During and after a workout, you receive a rush of ‘feel-good’ hormones that suppress and negate the stress response. Also, exercise allows you to vent frustration and exert energy, effectively combatting restlessness.
Losing weight can be one of the most beneficial things you can do to restore your blood pressure to a normal, healthy range. Carrying too much body weight can seriously impede your circulation, limit your respiratory capability, and is often accompanied by poor dietary choices and a lack of physical activity. As you begin to lose weight, your heart doesn’t need to work as hard to circulate blood, you can breathe more efficiently and your dietary improvements will mean better artery health.
The reason weight loss is so beneficial is because it requires the combination of all of the above lifestyle changes to accomplish results. Eating right, exercising, and encouraging stress management techniques are critically important to weight loss routines and staying dedicated.
CMC offers a comprehensive weight loss program, click here to read more!
Looking for More Information About High Blood Pressure?
If you have questions about high blood pressure or would like to book a comprehensive assessment, reach out to the specialists at Centerville Medical Center in Garland, Texas today! Call our offices or book an appointment online and take the first step towards better health and longevity!