African American elderly male black

Older African American Man

Lifestyle can play an important role in managing your blood pressure. If you can successfully control your blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle, you may avoid, delay or reduce the need for prescribed medicines. Today, I want to give you 5 lifestyle changes that you can make to lower your blood pressure and keep it down.

  1. Lose the extra weight: Blood pressure often rises with weight. In addition, the extra weight can cause disrupted breathing while you sleep, a condition known as sleep apnea. This in turn can result in your blood pressure rising. And watch your waistline, too: Carrying too much weight around your waist can put you at higher risk of high blood pressure (hypertension). In general, men should keep their waist size at 40 inches of less (102 centimeters) and women should aim for no more than 35 inches.
  2. Exercise: Aim for at least 30 minutes of activity  for 5 days per week. And be consistent, as if you stop, your blood pressure may rise again. Even a regular brisk walk may lower your blood pressure.
  3. Eat a healthy diet. You know the drill: Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. And watch the saturated fat and cholesterol. You may want to check out the eating plan known as the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension).
  4. Watch the dietary sodium. Limit your intake to 2,300 milligrams (mg) daily. And if you have a higher salt sensitivity (African-Americans, anyone over 51 years old, and those with high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease), keep it at 1500 mg daily or less. Here are some tips: Read food labels; eat fewer processed foods; don’t add salt (use herbs or spices to add flavor to food). And many find it easier to slowly work into a lower sodium diet, cutting back gradually.
  5. Watch the alcohol. Drinking more than moderate amounts of alcohol can raise your blood pressure. If you drink, aim for no more than one standard drink daily.

I’m Dr. Michael Hunter. Wanna learn more? Click the word Wellness at the top of the page. If you found value in this blog, please go to the comment section and check the follow blog box. Thanks!



Dr. Michael Hunter