While hypertension is notorious for being “a silent killer,” you don’t have to live in fear and denial if you’re diagnosed with it. By working closely with your doctor and making the necessary lifestyle modifications, you can successfully manage your condition and avoid serious health complications.
Below, we’ve outlined some essential lifestyle tweaks you can employ to help effectively control your blood pressure.
Adopting the DASH Eating Strategy
Talk to your doctor about the DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The diet plan consists of foods that are loaded with calcium, magnesium, and potassium—nutrients that greatly help control your blood pressure—and eliminates foods that are high in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium.
Studies suggest that the DASH diet can reduce blood pressure in as little as 14 days and can also effectively lower bad cholesterol levels.
Engaging in Regular Physical Activity
Exercise promotes cardiovascular health by strengthening the heart and prompting its arteries to dilate readily (vasodilation). A stronger heart is capable of pumping more blood with less effort, while vasodilation facilitates healthy blood flow, both of which contribute to the reduction of blood pressure.
You don’t need to engage in overly strenuous exercise to successfully manage your blood pressure: simple walking, cycling, and swimming for a total of 150 minutes per week can go a long way toward keeping your blood pressure numbers within a healthy range.
Ditching the Cigarettes and the Booze
If you smoke, your hypertension diagnosis is one irrefutable reason to kick the habit for good. If you’re finding it hard to quit, ask your doctor about smoking cessation programs, relapse prevention therapy, support groups, and other strategies you can adopt to help you resist the urge to smoke.
If you drink and can’t avoid alcohol consumption altogether, at least work on drinking only in moderation. Experts recommend up to two drinks a day for men and only one drink a day for women.
Relaxing Your Mind
While this can sound like a tall order, especially if you have a hectic work life, there are things you can do to train yourself to relax and de-stress.
Prayer, meditation, deep breathing, yoga, and listening to music are effective stress relievers. It also helps to concentrate only on your tasks directly at hand, and be mindful of the moment. If you have deep personal struggles with family or work, talking to a trusted friend or a mental health professional can have a cathartic effect.
Hypertension Treatment in Marlborough, MA
At Commonwealth Nephrology Associates, our board-certified nephrologists have earned the trust and confidence of countless patients across Greater Boston for the high-quality care and excellent treatment outcomes they provide for hypertension and the full range of kidney conditions. We take pleasure in providing comprehensive patient education, which we believe has an appreciable impact on how patients adhere to their treatment and manage their overall health.
To arrange a consultation with one of our nephrologists, give us a call today at (617) 739-2100 or fill out our appointment request form. Our main offices are located in Natick and Norfolk, and satellite offices in Attleboro, Dorchester, Marlborough, South Weymouth, and Westwood.