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Controlling Your Blood Pressure

According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure increases your risk of heart attack and congestive heart failure. The following summarizes 10 things you can do in your daily life to help control your blood pressure.

Tips for Controlling Blood Pressure

Know your ideal weight range and stay within it – Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing high blood pressure.

Avoid a lot of salt in your daily diet – Heavy sodium consumption can temporarily raise your blood pressure, which can lead to hypertension.

Include fruits, vegetables and whole-grain, high-fiber foods in your diet – Foods rich in potassium, magnesium and fiber, yet low in sodium, can positively affect blood pressure.

Exercise regularly – Physical activity for 30 – 60 minutes each day can actually lower your blood pressure.

Control alcohol intake – Reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption can improve blood pressure levels. For women, one drink daily is acceptable. For men, two drinks daily are acceptable.

Limit caffeine consumption – Caffeinated drinks, such as coffee, tea and sodas, can temporarily raise blood pressure. Should you continue to drink caffeinated beverages throughout the day, your blood pressure will remain elevated.

Quit smoking – Tobacco products can temporarily increase your blood pressure. Should you smoke frequently throughout the day, your blood pressure will remain raised. Smoking tobacco products is detrimental to your overall health and wellbeing.

Minimize stress levels as much as possible – Similar to alcohol, tobacco and caffeine, stress can temporarily increase your blood pressure. If reducing or eliminating your stress factors isn’t an option, determine healthier ways to better cope with the stress.

Know your family history – Having one or more close family members with high blood pressure increases your chances of developing hypertension.

Know your blood pressure – Have it checked regularly — at least annually. To schedule an appointment at the Heart & Lung Institute of Utah for a blood pressure check, call (801) 263-2370 or email hli@iasishealthcare.com.

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