3 Lifestyle Changes You Can Make to Treat Hypertension

Jan 23, 2024
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Hypertension is no joke. It’s a serious condition that can lead to major health events like heart attack and stroke. Learn about three changes you can make to lower your blood pressure.

Is improving your health one of your New Year’s resolutions? If you have high blood pressure, you know you need to make some changes. 

Board-certified internist Dr. Dheeraj Kamra with Ample Health is ready to help you. Dr. Kamra explains the dangers of chronic high blood pressure and develops a plan to restore your heart health. 

You likely already know some of the changes you need to make to lower your blood pressure, but Dr. Kamra explains how these changes lower your blood pressure and the health benefits you’ll see when you follow through.

Here are three lifestyle changes you can make to control and even eliminate hypertension. 

Shed excess pounds by eating differently  

If you’re overweight or obese, you know you need to lose weight to improve your health. The research is clear: Even losing a small percentage of your body weight can help lower your blood pressure. 

When you’re overweight or obese, your heart and blood vessels experience constant stress. Your body has too much fat, and fatty materials built up in your arteries. If the arteries leading to your heart get blocked, you’re at high risk of a heart attack. 

Is your diet full of processed foods? Change what you buy at the grocery store. 

Read up on the Mediterranean or DASH diet. Stick to the outside aisles and buy low-fat dairy instead of full fat. Load your cart with fresh and frozen vegetables. 

Cut back on red meat and buy fish. Use herbs to season your fish and vegetables instead of salt. Instead of butter when you cook, use olive oil. Avoid store-bought cakes, cookies, and pies. 

Eat naturally sweet fruits like oranges and kiwis for dessert. Develop other non-food rewards for progress you make toward your weight loss goal. 

Cut out the sweetened drinks that provide no nutrition and fill you up with excess calories. Instead, try flavored water with no calories or unsweetened herbal tea. 

It’s not easy to change years of unhealthy eating habits, but you’ll experience rewards when you do. You’ll have more energy, feel better, and improve your health. Aren’t those rewards worth it? 

Exercise regularly 

When you begin to eat differently and start losing weight, you’ll feel less fatigued. It’ll be easier to get up off the couch and engage in healthy physical activity. Dr. Kamra discusses exercise options with you to help you find an activity that you enjoy and can stick with for the long term. 

You may need to start slowly. Gradually increase your exercise to a minimum of 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic activity like walking in the neighborhood, swimming, biking, or a combination of similar activities that you like. 

Limit alcohol and quit smoking

Have you gotten into the habit of drinking alcohol every day? Fact: Drinking alcohol raises your blood pressure. 

If you’re serious about controlling your blood pressure and you’re currently drinking daily, substitute an activity or a nonalcoholic drink you like when you would normally reach for an alcoholic drink. 

You’ll likely see other benefits. You’re drinking a lot of calories when you drink alcoholic beverages. You may be able to lose weight more easily when you curb the amount of alcohol you consume. 

If you smoke, you already know that you should quit to improve your health. Smoking triggers hormones that raise your blood pressure. It’s likely that every doctor you’ve seen has told you to stop smoking. 

We can refer you to a smoking cessation program if you can’t stop on your own. You’ll see immediate health benefits. 

Call us at Ample Health in Carmichael, California, or book an appointment online today to get help treating your high blood pressure.