Perhaps you have other relatives with high blood pressure. Maybe you’re a member of a group of people who are at greater risk. For these or other reasons, you may be tempted to think that there’s nothing you can do about high blood pressure.
Here is some good news about high blood pressure: Even if you have many risk factors, there are steps you can take to prevent high blood pressure:
- Keep your weight at a healthy level. You can accomplish this by a combination of healthy eating and regular exercise.
- Eat a healthy diet. This includes eating only the amount of food your body needs and choosing foods high in nutrients and low in fat, sugar, and salt.
- Limit how much salt you eat. Most of the sodium you eat is in the form of salt. It may be salt that you add at the table or salt added to processed foods you consume.
- Limit how much alcohol you drink.
- Don’t smoke tobacco, and minimize your exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Get regular exercise. Try to get at least 30 minutes of activity each day, at least five days a week. Exercise relieves stress and helps you control your weight.
- Don’t let stress build up. The chemicals your body makes in response to stress make your heart beat harder and faster and your blood vessels tighten. All this makes blood pressure higher.
Ask your doctor for suggestions about high blood pressure and how to prevent it. Your doctor may refer you to other health professionals who can help