10 Tips to Lower Your Blood Pressure

Your blood pressure results are one test you don’t want to nail with high numbers. High blood pressure affects about 75 million Americans, or one in every three adults, and contributes to over 1,000 deaths a day. That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are some very easy ways to lower your blood pressure numbers. At Lafferty Family Care, we work with our patients in Bentonville, Arkansas, to get blood pressure numbers under control using the latest medical research, but we also encourage you to do some of the work at home.

We’ve pulled together a list of 10 tips to get you started:

1. You are what you eat

Your diet has a direct impact on your blood pressure and saturated fat is Public Enemy Number One. To rein in your blood pressure numbers, throw out foods that contain saturated fat and cholesterol and replace them with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Common sense prevails when it comes to eating right — the more processed your foods are, the more they’re likely to contain ingredients that aren’t great for you. Stick to foods that go from farm to table with the least amount of stops on the way.

2. Work it out

Enough can’t be said about the positive impacts of exercise. Regular physical activity, which means 30 minutes of exercise a day, can lower your blood pressure numbers significantly. And these 30 minutes are relatively easy to achieve by changing a few simple things. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator and park farther away from the supermarket. Or, take your dog on longer walks around the neighborhood — you’ll both benefit!

Better still, join a gym and participate in classes that get your heart rate going or meet up with a friend for some running or cycling. Participating in group activities can help greatly with your motivation.

3. Shed the weight

You’ll find that diet and exercise will go a long way toward shedding those extra pounds, which is crucial to lowering your blood pressure. Your body is hard at work pumping blood and any added weight forces it to work even harder. Talk with us about how much you need to lose to get within healthy limits and we’ll help you come up with a plan.

4. The sodium factor

Sodium, mainly in the form of salt, isn’t doing your blood pressure any favors. Now is the time to check your sodium intake by passing on the salt and avoiding processed foods, which contain higher amounts of sodium. Try spicing up your food with other flavors, such as rice vinegar, lemon, and olive oil.

5. Pass the potatoes

Potassium is the great antidote to salt so by increasing the potassium in your diet you can offset your sodium. Some of the richest sources of potassium are potatoes, squash, and white beans.

6. Ease off the vices

Vices such as smoking, caffeine, and alcohol contribute to high blood pressure. Smoking is head and shoulders above the rest in this regard, but cutting down on, or quitting, all three will deliver dramatic results when it comes to lowering your blood pressure.

7. Stress reduction

Stress can raise your heart rate, which has a direct effect on your blood pressure. Relaxation techniques, meditation, or a good yoga practice can relieve your stress, which is great for both your physical and mental health.

8. The sounds of music

Studies show that music has a calming effect and works to lower your heart rate. When you go for a walk, throw on some headphones and listen to some relaxing music, or sit back on the couch and enjoy a half hour of soothing music.

9. Sleep it off

Make sure you’re getting the proper amount of sleep each night. True sleep allows your body to completely relax and quietly restore itself. We recommend you get at least 6-8 hours a night.

10. Take your medicine

If your blood pressure numbers are high, there are medicines we can prescribe that are effective in lowering them. If you combine your medication with the tips above, you’ll have a winning combination that’s hard to beat.

The trick to dealing with high blood pressure is to act before it becomes a major medical issue. Call Lafferty Family Care for expert advice and treatment in lowering your blood pressure numbers, or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.

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