Being diagnosed with high blood pressure can be difficult news to handle. Described as a "condition that can lead to serious health problems, such as coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, and other health problems," by the Cardiac Care Group, high blood pressure is a serious health condition.
The good news is there are ways to help lower your blood pressure and keep your heart healthy, without taking medication. Consider these small changes you can make that will make a big impact on your heart health.
Perhaps the best way to lower your blood pressure is to get moving. The Mayo Clinic recommends at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity each day to lower blood pressure.
Don't think you have that kind of time every day? Don't do it all at once. "You can break up your workout into three 10-minute sessions of aerobic exercise and get the same benefit as one 30-minute session," the Mayo Clinic says.
What's important to remember is to keep consistently exercising, even if your blood pressure does initially go down. Once high blood pressure is in your life, exercise becomes a daily necessity; otherwise, your blood pressure will inevitably rise again and you'll lose any progress you made.
Coupled with exercise, losing some pounds brings a great benefit. Since blood pressure often increases as weight increases, losing weight can be just what you need to feel better, sleep better and be better.
"Weight loss is one of the most effective lifestyle changes for controlling blood pressure," according to the Mayo Clinic. "Losing even a small amount of weight if you're overweight or obese can help reduce your blood pressure."
Regardless of whether you are obese, keeping your waistline at a healthy size will reduce your risk of having high blood pressure.
Another effective, yet admittedly difficult, way to lower blood pressure is to change your diet. Healthline recommends incorporating healthier foods like vegetables (especially leafy greens), berries, oatmeal, garlic, fish, pistachios and more into your diet while avoiding excess saturated fats and processed foods.
The American Heart Association also recommends two simple diet changes: increasing your intake of potassium and lowering your intake of sodium. Excessive sodium is bad for your heart, and potassium can aid in combating its effects.
Perhaps the most difficult yet crucial way for most people to lower blood pressure is to reduce stress.
Take time to consider what major, chronic stressors are in your life. After you identify them, the Mayo Clinic suggests trying the following tips to better cope: change your expectations, focus on issues you can control and make plans to solve them, avoid stress triggers, make time to relax and do activities you enjoy and practice gratitude.
Thinking of what you can do to prevent heart disease? It's best to consult with your physician first before embarking on any new diet or exercise program. Hardening of the arteries cannot be reversed, but with the proper lifestyle changes and medication, you can enjoy a healthier life and stave off any heart issues through these preventive measures.
Cardiac Care Group takes your symptoms seriously and is prepared to discuss your conditions. It specializes in providing a broad range of services that focus on the prevention, prompt diagnosis and state-of-the-art treatment of cardiovascular disease. Contact their caring providers today to make your appointment.