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With the recent American Heart Association guideline changes, nearly half of all Americans have been identified as having high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for our country’s leading causes of death, stroke and heart disease. With an estimated 103 million people trying to gain control of their blood pressure, the American Heart Association recommends making lifestyle changes as the first step in treatment.
High Blood Pressure is 130/80. The new guideline states that medication is recommended when blood pressure is greater than 140/90.
Here are 6 lifestyle changes you can make to help lower your blood pressure without medication:
1. Change your diet- Fill your plate with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Stay away from saturate fat, sugar, salt, and processed foods. The American Heart Association recommends less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day for adults with high blood pressure.
2. Limit caffeine- Caffeine causes a temporary spike in your blood pressure, and should be limited to no more than 2 cups a day.
3. Exercise- At least 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day is recommended.
4. Limit alcohol- No more than 2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink for women
5. Stress relief- Reduce your stress with calming activities such as meditation, music, fresh air and sunshine, time with friends, or anything else that lifts your mood.
6. No smoking- Smoking causes plaque to build up inside your arteries, and increases your risk for a blood clot. Each time you smoke your blood pressure and heart rate rises.
Did you Know? Losing just 10 pounds can lower your blood pressure.
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