5 Steps You Can Take Today to Lower Your Blood Pressure

5 Steps You Can Take Today to Lower Your Blood Pressure

Almost half of all adults in the United States have high blood pressure, which places them at risk for some very serious heart health issues, such as heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. These outcomes, however, are highly preventable if you take a few steps to lower your blood pressure. In fact, we’ll wager you’ve heard of some of these steps, namely diet and exercise.

Here at Lafferty Family Care, Dr. Scott Lafferty recognizes that, while “diet and exercise” may contain only three simple words, this recommendation can be anything but simple to implement. So, we decided to break it down into five steps that you can take today that will help you tackle your high blood pressure.

1. Exercise with a friend

Since nearly half of adults have hypertension, the odds are good that you have a friend or family member who also needs to lower their blood pressure. Why not lean on each other for support and commit to doing some form of exercise together each week? Perhaps it’s an hour-long walk around the neighborhood or you can both enroll in a beginner’s yoga or pilates class. 

Whatever the exercise, you’re more likely to continue if you’re doing the activity with a friend, allowing you to hold each other a little more accountable.

2. Remove the salt shaker

If you’re sensitive to sodium, one of the best moves you can make to tackle hypertension is to lower your sodium intake, and we suggest starting with removing the salt shaker from your table. If you go to the spice section in your grocery store, you’ll find sodium alternatives, such as garlic or onion flakes or any other spice that you enjoy. Or, you can use lemon or vinegar to flavor a dish.

With time, you won’t miss the salt shaker one bit as you find new and interesting ways to flavor your food.

3. Ditch one processed snack

Many processed foods are full of sugar, unhealthy fats, and sodium, which are ingredients you want to avoid. If you eliminate just one bag of chips or one raid on the cookie jar each day, you’ll be making a difference in lowering your blood pressure.

4. Swap out a snack

We’re going to take take Step 3 a step further and recommend that you replace one processed snack each day with a healthy one. For example, instead of salty chips or pretzels, grab a handful of nuts or baby carrots. If you’re craving something sweet, try an apple, pear, or banana. Not only will you avoid a calorie-rich, nutrient-poor snack, you’ll be adding beneficial nutrients to your body that can fight disease.

5. Take a timeout

While stress isn’t directly related to diet and exercise, it can play a role when it comes to high blood pressure. When your body is in a stressed state, it can tax your cardiovascular system. This means it’s important to find ways to better manage stress.

While getting some exercise with a friend can go a long way toward reducing stress, there are other things you can do throughout the day. For example, if you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, find a quiet spot where you can just sit for a few minutes and breathe deeply. 

Or, if you’re a news junkie and find that your stress levels go up every time you watch a news show, why not skip it? These shows are designed to get a reaction out of you, and each time they do, your stress levels (and heart rate) rise.

Our goal here is to show that there are many small ways you can improve your cardiovascular health and lower your blood pressure.

If you’d like a more tailored program for lowering your blood pressure, please contact our office in Bentonville, Arkansas, to schedule an appointment.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Myths and Facts About Arthritis

There’s only one type of arthritis, and it only develops in the elderly. These are just two of the many myths about arthritis that are all too common. If you want to know the facts about arthritis, read on to learn more.

Do I Still Need a Flu Shot?

While we still may be enjoying the warmer temps of summer, the colder months are fast approaching, as is flu season. Now is the time to protect yourself and your family with the flu shot.

Can I Be Overweight and Healthy?

You’re carrying some excess pounds and you want to know whether you can still be healthy despite the extra weight. The answer is complicated, but there are some universal risks in being overweight.

How Much Should I Exercise for Better Health?

One of the best ways to improve almost every area of your health is through exercise. To ensure you’re getting the most out of your regimen, we take a look at some rules of thumb that are easy to follow.

How Dermal Fillers Provide Natural-looking Results

You want to dial back the signs of aging in your face, but you don’t want to look “plastic.” Dermal fillers are an excellent anti-aging solution that provides natural-looking results—it’s you, just a few years younger.