• Lifestyle Changes for People with Hypertension

     
     
     
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    11/27/2013

    Modifying your lifestyle can help lower your risk for hypertension. If you already have hypertension, these changes might be able to help you manage your hypertension by keeping your blood pressure in a normal range (less than 120/80mmHg).

    Try these tips for better blood pressure control:

    • Lose extra pounds and keep them off by following a heart-healthy eating plan and getting enough physical activity.
    • Limit your daily sodium and salt intake. 
      • Avoid processed foods and fast foods because they have a lot of salt, which contains sodium.
      • Try cooking more. Try these different salt-free, low-sodium tips to flavor your foods. Link to new page “Tips to Flavor Your Foods”
      • Slash your sodium, aiming for about 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day to help control your blood pressure.
      • Read Nutrition Facts labels and choose foods low in sodium (140 milligrams or less) to lower your sodium intake.
    • Quit smoking. Within just 20 minutes of stopping smoking, the negative effects of nicotine on your blood pressure will return toward baseline.
    • Limit alcohol. Men should have no more than two drinks a day; women should have no more than one drink. Avoiding alcohol may be even better if you are trying to control your blood pressure.
    • Manage stress. Getting stressed out about things affects your blood pressure. Try to find ways to prevent and cope with everyday stressors in your life.
    • Take your medications. Know your medications for hypertension.  Discuss any side effects with your doctor. Do not stop taking or adjust the dose of your medication without your doctor’s approval. Doing so could be very dangerous.

    If lifestyle modification and medication are not enough to manage your blood pressure, your doctor may consider other treatments, such as angioplasty of the kidney arteries, or renal denervation.