More than 100 million Americans are walking around with hypertension (high blood pressure), and many of them don’t even know it. That’s because high blood pressure has no symptoms in its early stages.
But if you follow the “out of sight, out of mind” approach to health care, you may regret it down the road. Because left untreated, hypertension can lead to serious health risks, including heart attacks, heart failure, stroke, organ damage, aneurysm, and dementia.
You can avoid those problems by monitoring your blood pressure and making adjustments as necessary to keep it under control. Dr. James Batey and our team here at Premier Primary Care in Union City, Tennessee, help patients manage their hypertension and reduce their health risks through various treatments.
The approach that works best for you depends on several factors, including your age, weight, level of hypertension, and other health conditions. Here are a few of the most effective ways to lower your blood pressure.
Kick stress to the curb
Living under high stress contributes to hypertension. While it’s not realistic to eliminate all stress from your life, it’s also unrealistic to think you can live under extreme pressure without experiencing severe physical and mental effects.
Practice breathing exercises, take an anger management class, pray and meditate, get a massage, do yoga — whatever works to calm your mind, relax your body, and slow your heart rate can help lower your blood pressure.
Crush out your cigarettes for good
Smoking ups your blood pressure while you’re puffing and for some time after you’ve snuffed out the flame. But those who quit immediately improve their blood pressure levels and often see their numbers return to normal.
Shed some pounds
Being overweight causes all kinds of problems for your body, as it puts excess stress on your joints, promotes inflammation, leads to diabetes, and contributes to hypertension.
The good news is that losing weight impacts your blood pressure. For every 2.2 pounds you lose, you can lower your blood pressure by one point, so it’s worth the effort.
The more you swim, dance, run, walk, cycle, or row, the better chance you have to avoid or reduce high blood pressure. If you can raise your heart rate during a 30-minute workout session of your choice most days of the week, you can drop your blood pressure by 5-8 points.
Pay attention to what you eat and drink
It’s a good time to refocus your diet with the holidays behind you — begin eating more nutritious foods and avoid those that harm you. To deal with hypertension, eat more fruits and vegetables, get enough potassium, and cut back on sodium, caffeine and alcohol.
If lifestyle changes aren’t reducing your blood pressure quickly or efficiently enough, Dr. Batey may treat the problem with medications until your numbers get closer to normal. But keep in mind that you still need to make adjustments in your diet, exercise, and other habits. The medication is intended to serve a temporary purpose to help you past a rough patch, not as a long-term crutch.
Dr. Batey is passionate about helping you achieve an active, healthy life, and that includes keeping your blood pressure under control. If you need your blood pressure checked or need help managing it, contact us by phone or online to schedule an appointment with Dr. Batey today and face 2021 with peace of mind.