High blood pressure, which is also called hypertension, increases your risk of developing many serious health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. Making an effort to prevent high blood pressure can reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other serious illnesses. If you are at risk for hypertension, take these steps to help prevent it.
1. Maintain a healthy weight
When it comes to hypertension prevention, your weight is crucial. People who are overweight should try to lose weight, and people of normal weight should avoid adding on any pounds. If you are carrying extra weight, losing as little as 10 pounds can help prevent high blood pressure. Talk with your doctor about the best weight for you.
2. Eat a balanced diet
Eating healthful foods can help keep your blood pressure under control. Get plenty of fruits and vegetables, especially those rich in potassium, and limit your intake of excess calories, fat, and sugar. Consider following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, which has been shown to help manage blood pressure.
3. Cut back on salt
For many people, eating a low-sodium diet can help keep blood pressure normal. “The higher the sodium intake, the higher the blood pressure”. You can cut back on your total salt intake by avoiding high-sodium packaged and processed foods and not adding extra salt to your meals. “I tell people to stay away from salt shakers.
4. Limit the alcohol
Drinking too much alcohol can lead to high blood pressure. For women, that means no more than one drink a day, and for men, no more than two.
5. Exercise regularly
Get moving to prevent hypertension. “Physical activity is crucial”. The more exercise you get, the better, but even a little bit can help control blood pressure. Moderate exercise for about 30 minutes three times a week is a good start.