December 2013 > Preventing & Managing High Blood Pressure

Wellness Wise

Tips for Preventing & Managing High Blood Pressure

Whether you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure (HBP), also known as hypertension, or you are concerned because you have some of the risk factors for the disease, understand this: while there is no cure, there is good news - high blood pressure is manageable!

Adopting a healthy lifestyle is critical for the prevention of HBP and also an indispensable part of managing it. By adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle, you can:

  • Reduce high blood pressure;
  • Prevent or delay the development of HBP;
  • Enhance the effectiveness of blood pressure medications; and,
  • Lower your risk of heart attack, heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.

There are several simple lifestyle choices that can help to control blood pressure. These key steps are recommended for anyone concerned about managing their blood pressure:

  • Eat a healthy diet, which may include reducing salt;
  • Enjoy regular physical activity;
  • Maintain a healthy weight;
  • Manage stress;
  • Avoid tobacco smoke;
  • If you drink, limit alcohol; and,
  • Understand hot tub safety.

To take it up a notch and live at your healthiest potential, you can think of the following recommended changes as a "lifestyle prescription" and make every effort to comply with them. Following these steps helps ensure you are doing your part in managing your HBP risks:

Once your treatment program becomes routine, maintaining lower blood pressure becomes easier. Remind yourself that by managing your blood pressure, you are lowering your risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke, peripheral artery disease and kidney disease. Death rates from these diseases have decreased significantly, thanks in part to earlier and better treatment of HBP.

Managing blood pressure is a lifelong commitment; make a pledge to do so starting today for yourself and for those you love. Listen to your doctor, review sound medical information from reputable sources, and act on the information to live a heart-healthier life.

Source: Content adapted from the American Heart Association.

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