Lowering Your Blood Pressure with Lifestyle Changes
Lowering your blood pressure can decrease chances of having a heart attack, heart failure, stroke and other health problems. Some lifestyle changes can help lower your blood pressure. Try these seven tips to help lower your risk of high blood pressure:
- Exercise regularly. Make moving fun! Exercise can improve blood pressure and reduce risk of stroke and diabetes. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, go on walks or try an exercise class. Consider talking with your doctor about the best exercise option for you before you start.
- Eat a high protein diet low in fat. Try to avoid fried foods and limit pork and beef. Instead, eat broiled, baked, or grilled fish, chicken, or turkey. Include vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products.
- Cut back on salt. Use spices or salt-free blends to flavor your food. Don’t forget to check food labels for high amounts of sodium.
- Cut back on alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol can increase your blood pressure levels. Limit your alcohol to no more than 1 to 2 drinks a day.
- Quit smoking. Smoking can increase your blood pressure. Talk with your doctor if you need help quitting.
While lifestyle changes can be hard at first, don’t give up. Minor changes can have a big impact and help lower your blood pressure. See your doctor soon for help if you have high blood pressure. There are many types of medications they can prescribe that can help lower your blood pressure.
Medications and How a Doctor Can Help
There are many types of medications your doctor can prescribe that can help lower your blood pressure. Sometimes, you may be given more than one prescription, depending on what is causing your high blood pressure. Here are some of the commonly prescribed medications:
- Diuretic: Helps your kidneys remove salt and water from your body, which in turn means you have less blood volume going through your blood vessels. Less volume in the vessels leads to lower blood pressure.
- Beta Blocker: Slows your heartbeat and keeps it from pumping too hard, which lowers pressure.
- ACE Inhibitor: Stops your body from making a hormone that makes blood vessels tighten.
- Others: Drugs known as calcium channel blockers and central agonists and can help, too, as can other drugs.
Gateway Health offers a number of resources to our members to help them live healthy lives. If you are interested in healthy eating or exercise support to lower your blood pressure, our wellness coaches are here to help! Login in to your secure member portal website at https://members.gatewayhealthplan.com. Under Alerts and Notifications, click on Wellness Coaching or click on the HEALTH & WELLNESS at the top menu bar then click on Wellness Coaches located on the left side of the screen.
To reach a Wellness Coach over the telephone, please contact the telephone number on the back of your Member ID card and enter the Wellness Coach extension.
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist: Extension 8444