Uncontrolled high blood pressure (HBP or hypertension) can be fatal. If you've been diagnosed with high blood pressure, these five simple steps can help you keep it under control:
1. Know your numbers
Most people diagnosed with high blood pressure want to stay below 130/80 mm Hg, but your healthcare provider can tell you your personal target blood pressure.
2. Work with your doctor
Your healthcare provider will help you make a plan to lower your blood pressure.
3. Make a few lifestyle changes
In many cases this will be your doctor's first recommendation, likely in one of these areas:
-Maintain a healthy weight. Strive for a body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9.
-Eat healthier. Eat lots of fruit, veggies and low-fat dairy, and less saturated and total fat.
-Reduce sodium. Ideally, stay under 1,500 mg a day, but aim for atleast a 1,000 mg per day reduction.
-Get active. Aim for at least 90 to 150 minutes of aerobic and/or dynamic resistance exercise per week and/or three sessions of isometric resistance exercises per week.
-Limit alcohol. Drink no more than 1-2 drinks a day. (One for most women, two for most men.)
4. Keep checking your blood pressure at home
Take ownership of your treatment by tracking your blood pressure.
5. Take your medication
If you have to take medication, take it exactly the way your doctor says.