According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost half of the adults in the United States suffer from hypertension, yet only about 24% have their condition under control. As a leading contributor to heart disease and stroke, hypertension carries serious health risks that increase the longer it goes untreated.
Yet, despite its significant hazards, hypertension (also called high blood pressure) has few symptoms. Without regular testing with a blood pressure meter, there’s no reliable way to gauge when hypertension begins or how elevated it may get.
The good news is that most people have options to alter their lifestyles to manage hypertension. But, if that’s not enough, you can partner with ARK Cardiovascular & Arrhythmia Center for more advanced medical care.
We’ve prepared six simple steps to help you manage hypertension. There are a few surprises hidden in these lifestyle alterations. These same six steps can help you with many other health conditions. There are risk relationships between many common health challenges affecting an aging population, so caring for high blood pressure improves your wellness in other ways.
Achieving and maintaining an optimal weight provides a powerful defense against hypertension, and it’s also a key step in reducing already elevated blood pressure. Blood pressure rises and falls with your body mass and waist measurement. Generally speaking, women want to aim for a waist circumference of fewer than 35 inches, while men’s target is below 40 inches. We can help you determine your best and most sustainable weight.
Your diet is a key part of weight management, and it’s so crucial for controlling hypertension that the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute developed the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet to target lower blood pressure values. Rich in non-starchy vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, DASH also includes lean proteins, dairy, and healthy fats, so eating well doesn’t mean a boring diet. Salt intake won’t cause hypertension, but reducing it in your diet can be a powerful way to lower blood pressure.
Reducing alcohol consumption is another way to combat hypertension. One drink or less per day for women and two drinks or less for men should keep you below the level where alcohol raises blood pressure. Smoking increases blood pressure and your risk of heart disease. There’s no safe level of intake for tobacco.
Adding 30 minutes a day, five days a week of moderate aerobic activity is one of the best ways to reduce hypertension and keep your blood pressure under control. It also helps with weight management. Aim for this minimum level, and consider high-intensity interval training and strength-building exercises when you’re ready for more.
A healthy, restful sleep cycle gives your body a chance to recover from the stresses of the day. It’s no wonder that poor-quality sleep leads to hypertension. Make your bedroom a restful oasis and target a sleep schedule routine that leads to more than six hours of sleep every night.
Since the only way to evaluate hypertension is through blood pressure testing, make it a habit to ask for a reading every time you’re in a medical office. Home-use blood pressure monitors are more affordable than ever and can help you track your progress against hypertension.
Call us or request an appointment online to learn more about your condition and its management. ARK Cardiovascular & Arrhythmia Center has four locations in the Detroit region. Hypertension is too risky to ignore, so schedule your consultation now.