Blood pressure is a measure of how hard your heart is working. It’s normal for it to change throughout the day. Often these differences can be as simple as changes in your posture and doing activities such as exercise or climbing stairs. You may also see a rise in blood pressure when exposed to stress. When blood pressure gets and stays high, that’s a sign it needs your attention because over time, high blood pressure may occur, leading to more serious health issues. High blood pressure may simply be outside of your control due to such things as genetics, social factors, and your environment. But there’s good news! Here are several things you can do to help manage your blood pressure:
- Reduce salt. Avoid processed foods and canned vegetables high in sodium and try using a salt alternative while cooking. Many foods that are good for you such as beets and celery contain sodium, but attempting to lessen added salt is a great idea.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Everyone gauges a healthy weight differently. Having a healthy weight can help lower blood pressure and may help your heart from having to work harder.
- Don’t smoke. Simply put: if you smoke, stop. There are several ways a MOBE Pharmacist or your health care provider can help you quit. Smoking puts extra pressure on blood vessels, making it harder for your blood to flow, which can result in high blood pressure.
- Limit alcohol. The more alcohol you drink the higher the risk of getting high blood pressure. Remember the saying: everything in moderation.
- Manage other health conditions. Certain health conditions can affect your blood pressure. Managing these conditions can go a long way toward controlling your blood pressure.
- Test often. It’s possible to take your blood pressure at home. You can check your blood pressure regularly, even at different times of the day. When you do, you and your health care provider get a better picture and can create a plan if your blood pressure tends to be high.
- Take medications as prescribed. It’s important to follow the directions provided on your medication labels as prescribed by your doctor. If you ever have questions or concerns, talking to a MOBE Pharmacist is a great way to get the answers and help you need.
- Manage stress. Stress makes your heart beat at a faster rate. Luckily, there are ways to help lower it. Try short stress-relieving practices. Deep breathing exercises, like the 4-7-8 method, can have surprisingly positive effects.
The good news: help is always here.
High blood pressure is something you may be able to control on your own or with help. Small steps today can make a big difference over time. If you’d like to learn more ways to prevent or manage high blood pressure, or just need a little extra support, a MOBE Pharmacist can help. Get started today.