Have you recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure and you’re wondering what that means for your daily life? There’s no doubt you have all kinds of questions running through your head, such as:
• Will you need to make any sort of lifestyle changes?
• Is there any part of your blood pressure that you can control?
• Will this be a lifelong condition?
• How serious is it?
• How long will you have high blood pressure?
Certainly, speaking to your doctor about your concerns and questions should be the first step, but rest assured there are in fact things you can be doing that will help manage and control your blood pressure. Putting your health first is always important, but when you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, it can be an opportunity to stop, take a closer look at your lifestyle, and make healthy decisions. To help you do just that, here are some steps and tips you can use.
Take Your Medication as Prescribed
The first tip is to ensure you are taking any and all blood pressure-related medications as prescribed by your physician. When you are first diagnosed, you will likely be put on a starter dose which may need adjusting. This may require you to visit your doctor regularly for blood pressure checks to ensure the medication is working as planned.
Your doctor may also ask you to purchase an at-home blood pressure monitor so you can start tracking your readings. These monitors are very easy to use and can provide you with plenty of information to report back to your physician.
Could You Stand to Lose Some Weight?
This is also a good time, to be honest with yourself about your weight. Did you know that when you start to gain weight, your blood pressure often increases? By losing weight and taking some inches off your waist, you can start to lower your blood pressure and really get it under control.
Learn What Foods to Avoid
There are also specific foods and drinks that are known to elevate blood pressure. If you already have high blood pressure, these items should be avoided as much as possible. Offenders include high sodium foods, processed foods (they are high in sodium), alcohol, caffeine, foods high in carbs, and extra sugar (that can pack on pounds).
If you’re in the habit of ordering takeaways on a regular basis, now is the time to cut back. When someone else is preparing the food, you have no control over the amount of salt being added, as well as fats like butter or oil. When you cook your own meals you can opt for healthy choices and make it blood pressure friendly.
Include Physical Activity in Your Daily Routine
Here’s a tip everyone can benefit from, as physical activity is important for all ages regardless of your health conditions. Staying active will help you to maintain healthy body weight, as well as keep your body strong. It also helps to combat stress (which can elevate blood pressure), and increase muscle mass.
In terms of what activity is best, some of the most effective include swimming, bicycling, walking, jogging, and dancing. You can also add strength training into the mix a couple of times a week.
If You Smoke, this is Your Signal to Quit
For those who smoke, learning that you have high blood pressure can be that red flag that tells you it’s time to quit smoking. Did you know that smoking actually causes an increase in your heart rate and blood pressure? If you already have high blood pressure and are trying to get it under control, smoking just negates all that you are doing.
And that’s not all. Thanks to the chemicals in cigarettes, they damage the walls of your blood vessels which then creates inflammation and your arteries are narrowed. This causes your blood pressure to rise even more. Even second-hand smoke is enough to cause these reactions.
Can You Still Qualify for Life Insurance?
Because high blood pressure is a medical condition, it can affect your ability to get comprehensive and affordable life insurance. However, I’m Insured points out that you can still get high blood pressure life insurance, and you shouldn’t be deterred from signing up for a policy. As a life insurance broker, I’m Insured has plenty of experience working with people who have high blood pressure and they know better than anyone that you can indeed find a good provider that will approve you. Keep in mind that there can be pitfalls during the process, which is why a broker is such an invaluable tool.
Taking Control of Your Health
High blood pressure is nothing to scoff at or ignore, rather it is a serious medical condition that needs to be addressed. The good news is that there are plenty of ways you can get your blood pressure under control and keep it managed moving forward.