When you are making positive lifestyle changes, you may not immediately feel your blood pressure changing, but over time, it does! Here are 8 ways you can keep your blood pressure in a healthy range.
- Maintain a healthy weight.If you are overweight, even a small amount of weight loss (5-10 pounds) can lower your blood pressure. As you slowly lose weight, you may see your blood pressure gradually go lower.
- Stop smoking.Smoking increases blood pressure and damages blood vessels. Talk with your healthcare provider about ways to quit. There are programs and medicines that can help.
- Eat less salt (sodium).Salt can raise blood pressure. To reduce the amount of salt in your diet, try salt-free seasoning, or herbs and spices. Choose low-salt or no-salt snacks. Prepare most meals at home. Limit deli meats, frozen foods, and canned foods which are high in salt.
- Eat a healthy diet.Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Choose foods with fewer carbs (sugars), and incorporate lean proteins and healthy fats and fiber.
- Drink alcohol in moderation.That’s one drink per day for women and two per day for men. Too much alcohol can raise blood pressure.
- Be physically active.Physical activity can help lower blood pressure. Aim for 30 minutes of activity on most days, which can include walking in addition to your normal activity. If you are not very active, start slowly and build up the length and intensity over time. Even 5-10 minutes a day can make a difference.
- Manage stress.Stress makes your heart work harder and beat faster. Talk with your Livongo coach or another healthcare provider about ways to lower your stress level.
- Take all medications as prescribed.Many people will also need to take medication to manage their blood pressure. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions about your medicine or have trouble taking it, including side effects.
Making positive lifestyle changes and taking medications as prescribed can help manage your blood pressure, enhance your quality of life, and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and more. Monitor your blood pressure regularly at home to track your progress.
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