Perhaps you have a family history of high blood pressure, or maybe your doctor noticed your blood pressure was a little high at your last visit. No matter where you are in your health journey, you can begin to take steps today to lower your blood pressure and improve your heart health.
1. Eat a Healthy Diet
It may seem like common sense, but a healthy diet goes a long way when it comes to managing high blood pressure. Focus on fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, whole grains, low-fat dairy, beans, nuts and seeds. Limit fatty meats, full-fat dairy, and sugary drinks and desserts. If you need help with your diet, talk to your doctor. They will be able to connect you to the support and resources you need to establish healthy eating patterns.
2. Consume Less Salt
Salt intake is key when it comes to our cardiovascular health. As best you can, avoid prepackaged and canned foods and limit restaurant dining. These food sources tend to come with a higher sodium content attached to them. You can also consider removing your saltshaker from the table, so you aren’t tempted to add unnecessary sodium to every meal.
3. Get Moving
The human body wasn’t meant to be still. Try to get at least 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise five days a week. This can be brisk walking, bicycling, dancing, swimming — whatever makes you feel good!
4. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight or obese increases your risk for high blood pressure. But the good news is that by taking the steps above, you’re already doing the right things for your weight, and you will likely see progress toward a healthy weight if you stick to those lifestyle changes.
5. Don’t Smoke
Smoking increases your blood pressure and puts you at risk for a lot of other health conditions, too. If you smoke and are ready to quit, your doctor can help you get the resources you need.
6. Limit Alcohol
If you don’t drink, don’t start. But if you’re a regular drinker, cutting back can help your blood pressure. Men should drink fewer than two drinks per day, and women shouldn’t have more than one alcoholic drink a day.
7. Get Your Shut-Eye
Sleep is essential to a healthy heart. (Bonus: It’s good for your whole body and your mood, too.) Aim for as close to 8 hours a night as you can.
Monitor Your Blood Pressure Daily to Watch Improvements
You can use ACN’s blood pressure log to keep track of daily measurements of your blood pressure. This can be helpful to review with your doctor to see if there are any additional lifestyle or medication changes you need to make to improve or maintain your overall health.
If you are a member of ACN, our care coordination team is here to help you schedule appointments, answer questions about your medications, and more. Contact our team by calling 602.406.7226 or emailing email@example.com. They can connect you to the resources you need to get healthy and stay healthy.