Important Lifestyle Changes for Keeping Your Blood Pressure Under Control

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According to the CDC, one out of every three adults has high blood pressure with another third in pre-hypertension, a stat in which blood pressure is higher than normal but not yet classified as hypertension. Managing high blood pressure isn't difficult, but it does take a commitment to making some lifestyle changes. Dr. Walker recommends these five tips to help you keep it under control.

1. Get more cardio exercise

The American Heart Association offers some clear guidelines on how much physical activity is enough for heart health. Even if you prefer less intense activities, you can still maintain heart health by focusing on quantity by getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week. 

Moderate intensity activities include:

If you have limited time to get a workout, you'll need to make the best use of your time with a higher-intensity workout for at least 75 minutes per week. These activities include things like:

It's important to realize that moderate and high-intensity is subjective. If you're currently out of shape, then moderate activities will feel like high-intensity activities and you may only be able to manage 75 minutes of "moderate" activity. Just get moving and work your way up. As your fitness level and blood pressure improve, you'll find it's easier to do 75 minutes of intense activity.

2. Do some strength training

Strengthening muscles helps improve blood flow throughout the body and reduces the risk of injury. Use resistance bands or weights at least twice a week to continue to improve your blood pressure.

3. Spread physical activity out

Avoid sitting for long periods of time. If you have a desk job, set a timer and get up at least every hour to walk around for five minutes. You may be tempted to cram your recommended exercise into the weekend while sitting most of the week, but this is a bad idea for both your blood pressure and general health.

Frequent movement helps you:

4. Make little changes

Do you take the stairs anytime you can? Do you park away from the door to the grocery and enjoy the walk? If you need to get some milk at a grocery that's one block from your house, would you consider walking instead of driving down the street? Do you avoid activities that may involve some physical activity? While the little things aren't a substitute for exercise, they do help you keep your blood pressure under control. This takes not only willpower but a change in thinking. Consider how grateful you are that you can get around and leverage this gratefulness to drive you to enjoy the mobility freedom you currently have.

5. Lose some weight if you're obese

A person who is overweight can be healthier than a person who is normal weight, but if your blood pressure is high, chances are that you have some weight that you can lose to get your blood pressure under control. All of the above activities will go a long way toward helping you reach your weight goals.

Are you doing enough to control your blood pressure? Don't try to do this alone. Learn where you stand and what more you can do. Contact Walker Family Care today.

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