Top 10 Tips for Blood Pressure
To keep your blood pressure in check, make sure to follow these top tips from Magna Wellness.
- Have your blood pressure checked regularly as recommended by your healthcare provider.
- If your doctor has prescribed medication for hypertension, take it as directed.
- Get educated! Learn great heart healthy tips from the Heart and Stroke.
- Reduce the amount of sodium you eat. High sources of sodium are found in many types of convenience and snack foods and smoked, salted, cured or canned meats and fish. Also try to limit your use of salt in cooking and at the table. The Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends that Canadians eat less than 2,300 mg of sodium (about 1 tsp / 5 mL of salt) a day total from processed foods and salt added during food preparation and at the table.
- Eat a healthy, balanced, diet that is lower in salt and fat (especially saturated and trans fats). Get tips on healthy eating in the article A Heart Healthy Diet.
- Be physically active for at least 150 minutes per week doing moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, in bouts of 10 minutes or more. Speak to your healthcare provider before starting a physical activity program.
- Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. If you are overweight, losing even 5% to 10% of your weight can help to reduce your blood pressure as well as dramatically decrease your chances of having a stroke or heart attack.
- Be smoke-free. If you smoke, speak to your doctor or healthcare provider about quitting. If you don't smoke, minimize exposure to second-hand smoke.
- If you drink alcohol, limit yourself to no more than 2 drinks a day, to a weekly maximum of 10 for women and 3 drinks a day to a weekly maximum of 15 for men. (Do not drink when you are driving a vehicle, taking medications or other drugs that interact with alcohol, pregnant or are planning to be pregnant, making important decisions, doing any kind of dangerous physical activity, living with alcohol dependence or mental or physical health problems, or responsible for the safety of others. If you are concerned about how drinking may affect your health, talk to your doctor.)
- Find healthy ways to manage your stress. Too much stress may increase your blood pressure. Research suggests that the way in which you manage your stress is very important. Avoid unhealthy stress coping mechanisms such as smoking, alcohol use, poor food choices, not being active, watching too much television and find relief instead with physical activity, socializing, laughter and healthy eating. Remember to take time out for yourself. Get tips on relaxation and mindfulness from people who are living with heart disease and stroke.