High blood pressure is a condition that affects approximately one in every three people in the United States. The condition can lead to severe health problems such as stroke and heart disease, but it is very treatable.
There are several different ways to bring high blood pressure under control, including prescription medications, but many people prefer to avoid using drugs whenever possible. Research has shown that weight and blood pressure are related, so maintaining a healthy weight can be an excellent way to reduce high blood pressure.
Losing extra pounds if you’re overweight or obese may seem like an impossible task, but there are really only two basic steps. First, you’ll need to alter your diet to make sure you’re eating healthy, non-fattening foods. Doctors also recommend lowering the amount of sodium, or salt, in your diet.
The second step is to become more active through exercise. Losing just ten pounds, which is less than ten percent of the average person’s body weight, can make a big difference in the blood pressure weight issue.
Ways to change your diet
The heart-healthy diet that helps lower blood pressure focuses on fruits and vegetables, lower-fat meats and dairy products and beans and seeds. Whole grains, rather than processed breads and cereals, are also good foods to choose if you’re trying to lose weight to help control your blood pressure.
Foods to avoid include those that lots of fats, sugars, and of course, salt. Processed foods often have high levels of saturated fats or trans fats that can lead to a rise in blood pressure if you eat them frequently. Likewise, sodium is often surprisingly added to processed foods that you would think wouldn’t need it.
Red meats tend to be higher in fat than poultry and fish, so limiting consumption of steaks, burgers and similar foods can help blood pressure weight efforts. Sugar in foods and drinks helps to contribute to added pounds as well, so limiting your consumption will be beneficial.
How to increase your movement
It’s simple to add exercise to your regular routine, even if you have a job that keeps you seated for most of the day or one that has an unpredictable schedule. Walking is a great way to get needed exercise. A moderate pace of about 100 steps a minute, or around three miles an hour, is recommended as a good way to help you maintain a healthy weight.
Most experts say that getting about 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day is an excellent goal, but it doesn’t have to be done in one session. Walking ten minutes at lunchtime and then 20 minutes later in the afternoon is a good alternative. Choosing parking spots further away from your destination or making a few laps of an indoor mall when you shop are other options.
It isn’t hard to find ways to handle weight and blood pressure issues. Becoming knowledgeable about healthy eating and making the time to exercise regularly will bring positive results that you’ll appreciate for the rest of your life.
CEO, Save Rite Medical
Marc Kaplan is founder and CEO of Save Rite Medical — the leading provider of wholesale medical supplies. A salesman by day and educator by night, Marc enjoys providing valuable ways and alternatives to living a healthier lifestyle.