Lifestyle Tips to Manage Your Blood Pressure

checkupHealthy choices matter. We’ve all read the headlines. A life filled with healthy choices does your body — and blood pressure — good. In fact, you may be able to cure high blood pressure with lifestyle changes alone.

How to get started

You can take steps today to manage your blood pressure. Here are the basics:

  • Exercise is for everyone, whether or not you need to lose weight. It widens your arteries, which eases blood flow. So aim for physical activity at least 5 days a week, 30 minutes each time. Exercise regularly.
  • Stay at a healthy weight. We all love foods that do not love us back, but to keep your blood pressure down, try filling up on fruits, vegetables and whole grains instead of sweet, sugary foods. Try to avoid foods high in fat, cholesterol and salt.
  • If you drink alcohol, less is better. For men, that’s about two drinks per day. For women, it is recommended no more than one drink a day. Examples of one drink include 12 ounces of beer or 4 to 5 ounces of table wine.
  • If you smoke, quit. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do to beat high blood pressure. And while we can’t always “quit stress,” we can take steps to reduce it. This can lower blood pressure too.
  • Your doctor is your best resource.  With regular check-ups, your doctor can work with you to control your blood pressure — whether it’s discussing lifestyle changes or medicine options.
  • Stress less. You can contact your personal health nurse to discuss this topic or to answer other health questions you may have. As a member of the Catholic Benefits Trust, your personal health nurse can be reached by dialing 1-855-570-6631.
Steve Dillman