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Worried about what that little blood pressure machine will say when you go to the doctor next week? There’s nothing worse than the look of concern from a doctor and the thought of more testing and medications. Leaving your blood pressure too high may lead to serious complications and there’s never a good time for a heart attack, aneurysm or stroke, so here are a few tips on how to lower your blood pressure.
Get up and move. Exercise is the remedy for almost everything and it does nothing but good things for our health. Regular exercise every day is so important, not just on the weekend when you’re bored. Talk to your healthcare provider and get some recommendations on how long you should be exercising and what moves will be best for you. Even if it’s only 10 minutes a day, this will be beneficial and help you build endurance and strength.
Cut out salt and caffeine. Yes, you need salt in your diet, but like everything else, it should be taken in moderation. Someone with high blood pressure should not be taking in more than 1,500 milligrams per day of sodium. Be sure to read food labels! Caffeine is much of the same, it needs to be taken in moderation. Many people are addicted to caffeine, drinking countless cups of coffee and soda per week. Caffeine is a stimulant that can increase blood pressure. About 200 milligrams of caffeine each day is what the average person with high blood pressure should consume.
Stop smoking. Like caffeine, the nicotine in cigarettes is very addicting and is also a stimulant, which raises blood pressure. Tobacco smoke is extremely toxic to the cells that line the blood vessels and this contributes to hypertension. Smoking every day increases health risks in many ways and may keep your blood pressure continuously elevated. Talk to your healthcare provider about quitting strategies.
Also, don't forget to monitor your blood pressure to be sure you're on target! There are some great home blood pressure monitors on the market today that make taking your blood pressure and tracking it easy.