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Finding Healthy Ways to Control Blood Pressure

By Sandy Schroeder

Health numbers, specifically blood pressure readings, are vital but sometimes ignored. If you are in your 40s or older, carrying extra weight, and leading a high-pressured life, those numbers could be quite important. Wherever you are in the age, weight, stress spectrum, it’s wise to know what your blood pressure is, and what you can do about it.

What Lifestyle Changes Can Do

The American Heart Association says, “Simple lifestyle changes can delay or lower high blood pressure and reduce the risk of illnesses such as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.”

In the same way that we eat healthy, exercise regularly and lower stress, it’s wise to be aware of blood pressure and make changes that matter such as these.

  • Work with your doctor
  • Know your blood pressure numbers
  • Enjoy regular physical activity
  • Limit alcohol
  • Eat a balanced diet low in salt
  • Handle stress
  • Limit alcohol
  • Maintain a normal weight
  • Don’t smoke

Looking closer at the details of maintaining healthy blood pressure numbers, here are some steps to consider.

Stay Active Every Day

Get at least 90 to 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly. Mix it up with strength routines and aerobics. Try for 30 minutes five days a week or split it up into 10 or 15 minute segments. Choose things that you enjoy, such as swimming, biking, or running and stick with it.

Find Ways to Manage Stress

Don’t try to control everything, and find ways to let go of stressful situations. Stress hormones can tighten blood vessels and increase the heartbeat that raises blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association. Sit quietly and breathe deeply for 15 to 20 minutes a day as you learn to accept the world as it is.

Enjoy Healthy Spices

Hide the salt shaker and reach for basil, dill, curry power, garlic, chives, turmeric, onions, peppers, and cider vinegar. Find recipes that please you and eat lots of heart-healthy fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, nuts, whole grains and healthy oils such as olive oil. Opt for fish and chicken with less sugar, salt and red meat.

Drop a Few Pounds

Doctors tell us losing just 5 to 10 pounds can improve blood pressure. Talk with your doctor to assess your weight and blood pressure.

Stop Smoking

AHA says cigarettes are a proven risk factor for stroke and heart attack.

As always, if you have questions or concerns about blood pressure, start with you doctor to find the best approach.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in San Antonio, Tex.

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