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