Thirty Million Americans are about to receive some bad news about their health, they now are considered to have high blood pressure and need to do something about it.
High blood pressure has usually meant to top a reading of at least 140 or a bottom one of 90. With these new guidelines intact, this drops to 130 over 80.
While most think this news can be an absolute shock to their health, there is some good news. Doctors say that with these new people added to the numbers of those affected, 98 percent only need to try a healthier lifestyle. If you’re at risk for high blood pressure, here are a few ways you can fight back:
The first lifestyle changes you can make is to exercise regularly. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular physical activity of at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week can lower blood pressure by 4 to 9 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).
Through exercising, you can avoid full-blown hypertension or if you have hypertension, regular physical activity can bring your blood pressure to safer levels. The best routines of exercise are anything from walking and jogging, to swimming and even dancing. Any sort of movement can help so talk to your doctor about a regular exercise program.
By losing the weight through exercising, you can drop even more to your blood pressure. In fact, losing just 10 pounds can help! In general, men are mostly at risk for high blood pressure if they have waist size greater than 40 inches and women who have a waist size greater than 35 inches.
Another change is to have a much healthier diet. The American Heart Association suggest starting eating foods such as fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and anything that is rich in whole grain. You should also reduce your sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg a day as well. With a diet such as this, you can lower blood pressure by up to 14 mm Hg.
If you’re a smoker, now may be the time to stop. The Mayo Clinic says that with each cigarette you smoke, your blood pressure increases within minutes after you finish. Quitting smokes helps return those levels to normal.
One thing that a lot of people go through is stress. From problems at work, to financial issues, stress can cause a rise in blood pressure as well as contribute to other factors. If you’re feeling stress, be sure to take some time to figure what is causing it and you can also fight stress through relaxation and activities like reading, exercising or meditation.
In general, it’s important to monitor your blood pressure to avoid further health problems such as heart disease and strokes. If you feel you might need to lower your blood pressure, please visit your doctor to find out more.