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7 Ways to Control Your Blood Pressure

7 Ways to Control Your Blood Pressure

Fewer than half of the 68 million adults in the U.S. who are diagnosed with high blood pressure are able to keep it under control. That’s why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is calling on patients and their health care providers to “Make Control Your Goal.”

7 Ways to Control Your Blood Pressure

1. Have your blood pressure checked and monitored regularly.

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2. Maintain a healthy body weight. Carrying too much weight increases your chances of developing high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association.

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3. Exercise regularly. Aim for two hours and 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every week. Lack of physical activity can contribute to high blood pressure.

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4. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Include potassium and whole grains and less saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. Read nutrition labels. Reduce sodium intake — most of the sodium we eat comes from processed and restaurant foods.

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5. Don’t smoke. According to the American Heart Association, smoking temporarily raises blood pressure and increases risk of damaged arteries. Need to quit? Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or Smokefree.gov.

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6. Watch how much alcohol you consume. Alcohol contributes to high blood pressure. Generally, men should keep it down to less than two drinks a day, and women should have no more than one drink per day.

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7. If you have high blood pressure, take your medication as directed. Tell your doctor if you are experiencing side effects.

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A Snapshot: Blood Pressure in the U.S. Make Control Your Goal. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, the first and fourth leading causes of death for all Americans. High Blood Pressure Basics. 67 million American adults—1 in 3—have high blood pressure. High blood pressure contributes to ~1,000 deaths/day. When your blood pressure is high, you are 4 times more likely to die from a stroke, and you are 3 times more likely to die from heart disease. 69% of people who have a first heart attack, 77% of people who have a first stroke, and 74% of people with chronic heart failure have high blood pressure. Annual estimated costs associated with high blood pressure: $51 billion, including $47.5 billion in direct medical expenses. Blood Pressure Control. Only about half of people with high blood pressure have their condition under control. Reducing average population systolic blood pressure by only 12–13 mmHg could reduce stroke by 37%, coronary heart disease by 21%, deaths from cardiovascular disease by 25%, and deaths from all causes by 13%. Make Control Your Goal, Every Day. Check your blood pressure regularly—at home, at a doctor’s office, or at a pharmacy. Eat a healthy diet with more fruits, vegetables, potassium, and whole grains and less sodium, saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol . Read nutrition labels and lower your sodium intake. Most of the sodium we eat comes from processed and restaurant foods. About 90% of Americans eat too much sodium. Quit smoking—or don’t start. 1-800-QUIT-NOW or Smokefree.gov. Adults should limit alcohol to no more than 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men. Get active and maintain a healthy weight. Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every week. This infographic was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention in support of achieving the Million Hearts® initiative goal to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.

Post Photo: Hemera/Thinkstock

Read more: Conditions, General Health, Health, Heart & Vascular Disease, High Blood Pressure

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Ann Pietrangelo

Ann Pietrangelo is the author of No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis and Catch That Look: Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. She is a freelance writer and member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Follow on Twitter @AnnPietrangelo

142 comments

+ add your own
3:16AM PST on Feb 19, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

12:28AM PDT on Jun 19, 2013

Good information.

11:39PM PDT on Jun 11, 2013

Thank you :)

10:42AM PDT on Jun 11, 2013

Thanks for the info. All common sense suggestions we all should follow.

8:06AM PDT on Jun 11, 2013

noted

4:43PM PDT on Jun 5, 2013

thanks for the info

11:10PM PDT on May 28, 2013

ty

8:20AM PDT on May 28, 2013

Wow!. Thanks a lot for share this valuable info. Blesses! :)

11:20PM PDT on May 27, 2013

Thanks a good post.

4:45PM PDT on May 27, 2013

tyvm...

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