Lifestyle plays an important role in treating high blood pressure. If you successfully control your blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle, you might avoid, delay, or reduce the need for medication. The following can substantially affect your condition:
- Lose extra pounds and watch your waistline. Losing just 10 pounds can help reduce your blood pressure. Also, carrying too much weight around your waist can put you at greater risk of high blood pressure.
- Men are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 40 inches.
- Women are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 35 inches.
- Exercise regularly. If you have slightly high blood pressure, exercise can help you avoid developing full-blown hypertension. If you already have hypertension, regular physical activity can bring your blood pressure down to safer levels.
- Eat a healthy diet. Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol can lower your blood pressure.
- Reduce sodium in your diet. Even a small reduction in the sodium in your diet can reduce blood pressure.
- Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Alcohol can be both good and bad for your health. In small amounts, it can potentially lower your blood pressure. The protective effect is lost if you drink too much. Generally:
- more than one drink a day for women and for men older than age 65
- more than two a day for men age 65 and younger.
- One drink equals:
12 ounces of beer
five ounces of wine or
1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor.
- Quit smoking. Each cigarette you smoke increases your blood pressure for many minutes after you finish.
- Reduce stress. Chronic stress is an important contributor to high blood pressure.
Read more on this topic online at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/high-blood-pressure/art-20046974?pg=1
If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, schedule an appointment with Dr. Tsuda to discuss weight-loss options and other treatments.