Nearly 120 million US adults have hypertension, which is a significant risk factor for stroke and heart attack. It creeps up without symptoms yet causes damage to your blood vessels and organs.
The good news is that you can manage and prevent it with the right lifestyle choices and health strategies. At Horizon Wellness Family Health, board-certified nurse practitioner Albalira Gibson-Borrelli, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, provides comprehensive care for the entire family, including high blood pressure management.
Most of the risk factors for hypertension are within your control, meaning that you can take proactive steps to manage hypertension if you have it and prevent it if you don’t. Here’s how you can stop hypertension in its tracks and safeguard your health.
Hypertension develops when the force of blood against your artery walls is too high. Without intervention, persistent high blood pressure is incredibly damaging to the body over time. It’s one of the leading causes of kidney disease and significantly boosts the risk of heart disease.
While genetic factors can play a role, lifestyle factors such as diet, physical activity, and stress significantly impact blood pressure. That’s why diet and lifestyle changes are your first line of defense.
A heart-healthy diet is crucial in controlling blood pressure. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, is designed to combat high blood pressure.
Too much salt is a major contributor to high blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, gradually reduce your intake to no more than 1,500 milligrams per day.
Potassium is key in balancing the level of sodium in your cells. Incorporate foods like bananas, spinach, sweet potatoes, and oranges into your diet.
Regular exercise is another essential component in preventing and managing hypertension. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, like walking or cycling, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, such as running each week. Consistency is more important than intensity; even light activities, if done regularly, can make a big difference.
Chronic stress can contribute to high blood pressure. Finding effective ways to manage stress can help manage hypertension. Techniques such as deep breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, and spending time in nature can significantly reduce stress levels. Additionally, ensure a healthy work-life balance and make time for hobbies and activities you enjoy.
Regular check-ups are crucial, especially if you have risk factors for hypertension. Monitoring your blood pressure and discussing any concerns with your doctor can help early detection and management.
Smoking is detrimental to your health in many ways, and one of those is its negative impact on your blood vessels. It’s no wonder smoking is a major risk factor for hypertension and heart disease.
Quitting smoking can improve your overall health and reduce your risk of developing hypertension. Similarly, excess alcohol damages blood vessels and boosts hypertension risk. Aim to limit your intake.
Stopping hypertension in its tracks is about making practical, sustainable lifestyle choices, and our team is here for you every step of the way. Small changes can lead to significant results. Take control of your health. To get started, contact us to schedule a visit today.