Do you know what your blood pressure usually hovers around? If you don’t, you’re not alone. Most of us don’t even think about our blood pressure, but having yours at a healthy level can mean a longer life and fewer health concerns.
In the United States alone (according to the CDC), 67 million adults have high blood pressure – that’s 1 in every 3 adults. Sadly, only about half of those with high blood pressure have their condition under control.
Monitoring your blood pressure regularly is one way to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to high blood pressure, but there are many other ways that you can naturally reduce your risk or care for yourself if you do end up having it.
Why Does High Blood Pressure Matter?
High blood pressure contributes to hundreds of thousands of deaths each year as it’s connected closely with serious health concerns like heart attacks, strokes, chronic heart failure, and kidney disease.
What Causes High BP?
High BP can be caused by genetics, your lifestyle, or can be associated with other conditions (like kidney disease). While you can’t control all of the factors that can cause high blood pressure, you can make some changes in your lifestyle to lower your risk or help manage this condition.
How to Prevent High Blood Pressure
Here are some ways that you can start taking action now against high blood pressure:
- Eat a healthy diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Get more potassium and fiber, which can help lower your risk.
- Avoid high levels of sodium, which can contribute to high BP as well as a host of other health issues.
- Maintain a healthy weight through regular exercise and healthy diet.
- Stay active, as physical activity can help lower blood pressure. Try to squeeze in at least 30 minutes every day to get moving.
- Stop smoking. Smoking injures blood vessels, speeds up the hardening of the arteries, raises risks for stroke and heart disease, and it can greatly affect blood pressure.
There are just a few ways that you can reduce your risk for high blood pressure. In our next post, we’ll run through how to actually check your blood pressure and things that you can do help manage high blood pressure if you do end up with the condition.