Almost one third of adults in the U.S. have elevated blood pressure, making it a common health issue today. Even though you may feel no symptoms from high blood pressure, it does increase your risk for serious conditions like heart attacks and strokes.
In addition to following your physician’s directions to reduce elevated blood pressure, WISH doctors in Chattanooga suggest a few simple lifestyle changes in order to improve or maintain your blood pressure:
- Watch your weight. Excess weight can play a major role in high blood pressure. Your doctor can help you determine whether or not your body mass index (BMI) is considered healthy for your height and weight.
- Watch what you eat. The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is an eating plan that reduces your intake of saturated fats, but increases your intake of low-fat dairy, fruits, and vegetables.
- Get physical. Make sure to include at least 30 minutes of vigorous physical activity in your day. Vigorous activities include running, jogging, swimming, bicycling, and even jumping rope.
- Cut back on salt. In addition to changing what you eat, it is important to watch your daily sodium intake. The foods you consume may already have more salt than you are aware of, so it may be beneficial to put the salt shaker away when you eat.
- Drink less alcohol. Make sure that when you consume alcoholic beverages, you drink no more than 2 a day.
Here are some additional common causes of high blood pressure, which you can reduce and/or avoid:
- Cigarettes and nicotine
There are some risk factors associated with high blood pressure, which can’t be changed. Age, race, family history, a history of preeclampsia, and certain medical conditions all contribute to your risk for elevated blood pressure. This is why it is extremely important to understand how your lifestyle habits affect your overall health and BP.
If you are experiencing blood pressure issues, contact Women's Institute for Specialized Health to schedule your appointment with one of our experienced gynecologists in Chattanooga.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to take the place of the doctor-patient relationship and any email is not appropriate for emergency care. To schedule an appointment, please call your doctor's primary office, listed on our Locations page. In case of emergency, we are available 24 hours a day.