Help Control Blood Pressure With These Healthy Habits

Help Control Blood Pressure With These Healthy Habits

If you’re one of 1 in 3 Americans who struggles with high blood pressure, you’ve almost certainly experienced concern and anxiety that comes with the diagnosis. Luckily, unlike a number of other health conditions, high blood pressure can sometimes be improved if you start practicing a few healthy habits, from healthy lifestyle choices to proper treatment of other medical conditions. (Note, too, though, that some blood pressure is also genetic, and therefore can’t be influenced by healthy actions alone so make sure you take all prescribed medications as well.)

The Health Trifecta

There are three vital measures that you can take to lower your blood pressure: maintaining a good diet, healthy weight, and appropriate level of exercise. Eating a healthy diet, with a heavy dose of fruits and veggies, especially those higher in potassium, while staying low in sodium is a way that many people can get their blood pressure down. If you’re looking for some foods high in potassium, here are just a few:

  • Bananas
  • Spinach
  • Watermelon
  • Coconut Water
  • Beans (particularly black and white beans)
  • Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes
  • Avocados

Weight can also be a contributing factor when it comes to blood pressure levels: being in the overweight to obese range can specifically put you at higher risk for high blood pressure. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey has found that while BMI has some valuable attributes, it is not definitively the best way to determine if you fall into the overweight to obese range. It’s best not to independently determine your own weight health; if you’re concerned that your weight may be contributing to high blood pressure, visit a doctor and have them make a determination.

The third arm of the health trifecta is staying physically active. As per the Surgeon General recommendations, an adult should get around, “2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise…” weekly. In other words, you don’t have to be in love with exercising to get the healthy amount weekly: brisk walking, bicycle riding, jogging, swimming, hiking, and even gardening all qualify as moderate intensity exercise; that means you can get the recommended amount while doing something you enjoy!

Practice Medication Adherence

If you have already been diagnosed with high blood pressure or diabetes and are taking medication for them, stay consistent with your meds! According to the CDC, about 6 out of 10 people with diabetes are also diagnosed with high blood pressure; if you have diabetes or high blood pressure, staying on a consistent medication schedule can be the difference between controlling high blood pressure and seeing a further increase. To learn more, read our blog post on the importance of medication adherence here.

Finding out that you have high blood pressure can be a stressful thing to discover, but it’s important to remember that there are actions that you can take to get your blood pressure down. Practicing healthy habits and working to improve your own health, paired with the proper medication adherence for conditions that you may already have, can get you on the path you having a healthier blood pressure level. Keep track of your blood pressure with regular visits to your doctor, and you will see improvement in the condition, if you take the proper steps. Remember: controlling the condition takes time, but even small steps in the right direction are better than taking no steps at all!