According to the American Heart Association, nearly half of Americans have high blood pressure, and 28 percent of them don’t even know it.
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is defined as the systolic pressure (top number) reading 140 or above, or a diastolic pressure (bottom number) reading 90 or above. Hypertension is often asymptomatic (no symptoms), but it contributes to 15 percent of deaths in the United States and can lead to serious medical conditions and emergencies like heart attack, stroke, aneurysms, kidney failure and cognitive decline.
Incorporating regular exercise into your normal routine –– at least 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise most days of the week –– has shown to help reduce blood pressure levels. If you’re a beginner, start off slow with 10 minutes of exercise every other day and work your way up.
Watch the Salt
Consuming a high-salt diet can increase your blood pressure significantly. To reduce your salt intake, be sure to avoid processed foods that contain high levels of hidden sodium.
Caffeine has been shown to raise blood pressure by constricting blood vessels and increasing the effects of stress. When your body is under stress, it increases the amount of blood pumping, resulting in increased blood pressure. Caffeine consumption can make this worse.
Avoid Tobacco Products
In addition to the other harmful effects of tobacco products, their nicotine content can temporarily spike blood pressure levels for up to an hour after use.
Reduce Stress Levels
To speak with a specialist about your blood pressure and what you can do to lower it, call the team at Northern Illinois Vein Clinic today at (779) 696-8346 to schedule an appointment.