Your blood pressure measures how hard your heart has to work to push blood through the arteries in your body. High blood pressure, which is also known as hypertension, can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. In general, a healthy blood pressure measurement is less than 120/80. If your family doctor has informed you that your reading is higher, take steps to lower it.
How to Bring Down Your Blood Pressure
1. Adjust Your Diet
Following a heart-healthy diet rich in vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and whole grains will naturally lower your blood pressure. Your family doctor may recommend the DASH Eating Plan, which limits foods high in sugar, salt, and refined carbohydrates, as well as fatty meats and full-fat dairy.
Foods high in potassium, such as avocados, leafy greens, and sweet potatoes, can also help lower your blood pressure by relaxing your blood vessel walls.
2. Exercise Regularly
Studies show that regular exercise can lower the blood pressure of a person with hypertension by 5 to 7 mmHG (millimeters of mercury). However, consistency is necessary to keep your numbers down.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recommends practicing at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. Suitable activities include walking, jogging, cycling, and swimming.
3. Lose Weight
If you’re eating healthy and exercising regularly, you’ll likely also begin to shed some pounds, which is another way to take pressure off your heart. Speak with your family doctor about weight loss strategies if diet and exercise changes are not enough.
For more information on how to bring down your blood pressure, get in touch with Fairbanks Clinic, Inc. For more than 88 years, this practice has provided comprehensive and compassionate health care services to adults and children throughout the Fairbanks, AK, area. Visit their website to learn more about their services, or call (907) 452-1761 to schedule an appointment with a family doctor today.