Controlling High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure (also known as HBP or hypertension) is a very common condition that affects more than 3 million Americans. You can have it for years without having any symptoms, which is why it’s often referred to as a “silent killer”.
So how do you fight back? Aside from using prescribed medications, there’s a lot you can do within your own lifestyle. Small changes can help you live healthier and longer, and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and more.
Don’t pass the salt.
First things first, take the salt shaker off the dinner table. Force of habit can make it really easy to add unnecessary servings of sodium without even realizing it. In addition, shop for low-sodium alternatives to help train yourself to enjoy less salty foods. Stay clear from frozen and processed items as often as possible, no matter how tempting a frozen pizza can be.
Extra tip: try finishing a dish with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. The acid will help brighten up flavors and provide the boost your taste buds are looking for.
Drink in moderation.
We hate to break it to you, but unfortunately red wine isn’t a magic pill for heart health. In fact, drinking in excess can actually lead to increased blood pressure. But if you do indulge, try to limit yourself to 1-2 servings a day.
Whether it’s hitting the gym or mowing the lawn, it’s important to stay active. Try to stay on your feet and engaged in some type of physical activity for at least 40 minutes a day.
See a doctor.
If you have high blood pressure, your healthcare provider may recommend taking medication. It’s important to follow your treatment plan in addition to making positive lifestyle changes to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.
Check your numbers.
To help you and your doctor get—and keep—your blood pressure under control, you may qualify for a blood pressure monitor at no cost. Simply complete the Blue Health Assessment and answer “yes” to the question asking if you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure. If you’re eligible, you will receive information on the Hypertension Management Program via mail.