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  1. 5 Lifestyle Changes You Can Make Today to Manage High Blood Pressure

    Manage High Blood Pressure

    If you’re living with hypertension — also known as high blood pressure — you likely know how critical it is to manage it.

    That’s because studies show hypertension is linked to serious health risks, including heart attack or failure, stroke, kidney issues and even dementia. Doctors also usually note hypertension as a symptom of type 2 diabetes.

    And while doctors may prescribe you medications to treat high blood pressure, there are unfortunately instances where even those don’t fully work.

    Thankfully, new research supports the fact that something else can: lifestyle changes. The study, published in Circulation, found that certain lifestyle changes can control high blood pressure, even in those who have it most aggressively. Researchers followed 140 patients with diagnosed hypertension and ultimately found that those who followed a healthier diet and fitness program were able to manage their hypertension — even hypertension resistant to medications.

    “All people who have blood pressures…should immediately adopt lifestyle habits that can lower it, and check with their doctor about proper medications if needed,” said Dr. Gabe Mirkin, a fitness guru, longtime radio host and sports medicine doctor with more than 50 years of practice. “Anyone who is prone to high blood pressure should commit to lifelong habits to control it. Many cases of high blood pressure can be controlled with a high-plant, low-salt diet and other lifestyle changes.”

    With that expert advice in mind, we compiled a list of the five lifestyle changes you can make today to work towards managing your high blood pressure.

    1) Carve out a minimum of 30 minutes for exercise at least five days a week.

    Yes, sometimes the notion of working out seems daunting and unappealing. But we can’t stress enough how critical it is towards managing high blood pressure. This doesn’t mean you have to pour sweat at the gym or pound the pavement day in and day out. But, it may mean trying new things to find something you enjoy that gets your heart rate up and blood pumping at a healthy consistency throughout the day.

    2) Limit those cocktails, beers or glasses of wine.

    Alcohol is a cornerstone of American culture. But too much of a good thing can quickly turn it into a bad thing. Alcohol affects how kidneys push blood through the body by constricting blood vessels while simultaneously increasing the amount of liquid in the body. Suffice it to say neither of these things are good for hypertension. Men should drink no more than two alcoholic beverages per day, and women should drink no more than one, according to the American Heart Association.

    3) Don’t smoke or vape.

    Seems like a no-brainer, right? But it’s critical to understand just how dangerous smoking and vaping are when it comes to hypertension. Nicotine narrows your blood vessels and causes your heart to beat faster, spiking blood pressure. If you’re trying to quit or want to quit, Allen Carr’s Easyway method has helped millions do just that without using willpower. It’s worth checking out.

    4) Find a way to relax.

    Anxiety and stress are a part of life, but not managing them properly can be detrimental to high blood pressure. Studies have not yet found a direct link between hypertension and stress, but they have found that inability to manage stress often leads to other poor choices like drinking more alcohol or overeating.

    5) Overhaul what you’re eating.

    Perhaps the most vital part of managing hypertension comes down to what you’re putting in your body. High-sodium or sugary foods with low nutritional value are terrible for managing high blood pressure. You have to work towards eating more wholesome foods like fruits and vegetables, whole wheat grains, low-fat dairy, poultry and nuts — and fewer things like potato chips, sweets, red meat and white bread.

    Making any of these lifestyle changes today is an excellent step towards managing your high blood pressure. And, if you’re not sure how to overhaul your diet properly, we can help! Our meal plans are balanced for nutrition, portion size and calories. Plus, our chefs work hard to ensure they taste amazing and come with plenty of variety. Get started today!



    Author: Caitlin H
    Diet-to-Go Community Manager

    Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.


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