New Year’s; A time to start fresh! Why not bring in the New Year with a resolution that could potentially save your life. A New Year’s resolution to combat high blood pressure could reduce chances of stroke, heart attack and heart failure significantly.
Hypertension, or the “Silent Killer,” is a prevalent condition which affects about 1 in 3 American adults. Only about 52% of the affected hypertensive population have their condition under control.
While these are no substitutes for medication prescribed by your Doctor, here are a couple resolutions to aid the battle against high blood pressure.
Reduce & Monitor Sodium in Your Diet
One of the greatest causes of hypertension is excessive sodium intake. With such a prevalence of sodium enriched processed food in the US, it is easy to overindulge. The human body only requires about 500mg of sodium to function properly. Sodium helps the body retain water, but in excess, the extra water will raise blood pressure. Decreasing sodium intake can lower blood pressure up to 14 mm Hg.
The first thing to do when reducing sodium is to familiarize yourself with food labels. Generally speaking, foods with less than .1g of sodium per 100g are safe for regular consumption. Anything with .1-.6g of sodium per 100g should be minimally ingested, and foods with higher than .6g of sodium per 100g should be avoided altogether if possible.
Get More Exercise
This is probably the most popular of New Year’s resolutions, but what is your motivation? Is it to fit in your skinny jeans? Look great at your 10 year reunion? Maybe so, but how about thinking long term health. Exercise to lower or maintain a healthy blood pressure and a welcome side effect will be sliding into those skinny jeans! By simply adding a 30 minute walk/run into your routine can lower blood pressure 4-9 mm Hg. For maximum results, it is recommended to exercise at least 5 out of 7 days of the week for a minimum of 30 minutes. For those combating busy schedules, it is recommended to break up your work out session into smaller, 10 minute segments throughout the day. Breaking up your workout does not lower the overall effectiveness, and will yield the same results as a sustained 30 minute session.
Remember, New Year’s Resolutions are hard to keep! Don’t get discouraged if you “fall off the wagon” early on in your quest to fight high blood pressure. Keep in the back of your mind the reasons you started and the end result: Lower blood pressure and a healthier you!
Do you need help managing your high blood pressure? OnsiteMD physicians are board certified in family medicine and can help you manage chronic hypertension and offer screenings and wellness plans to help prevent high blood pressure. Call today for your appointment 844-667-4835 or connect with us!