Tips for Managing High Blood Pressure Without Medications
Nearly half of all adults in the United States live with an increased risk of death, heart disease, and stroke. Many of them don’t know the cause. No, it isn’t cancer or even obesity. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, impacts 47% of American adults and has a major negative impact on your health. So what can you do to manage hypertension? Fortunately, there are many ways you can improve your health and keep your blood pressure under control. Let’s look at some of the best tips!
Measure Your Blood Pressure Regularly
Before you can take steps to manage your blood pressure, you need to know what yours is. There’s a reason most people with high blood pressure don’t know they have it. If you have mild or moderate hypertension, you may not have any symptoms. Since the condition often goes unnoticed despite being a major cause of premature death, it has earned the name “silent killer.” Since you may not have any symptoms or warning signs, the only way to detect hypertension is by checking your blood pressure. You should do so regularly to ensure your levels remain healthy over time. Here are some tips for measuring your blood pressure.
How Often Should I Measure My Blood Pressure?
When you visit the doctor for a checkup or illness, they’ll check your blood pressure as part of their standard assessment. But many people don’t visit the doctor unless they’re sick or injured. So how often should your blood pressure get checked? The answer depends on your age and other health conditions. Adults under 40 who don’t already have high blood pressure should have theirs checked at least once every two years. People older than 40 should have their blood pressure checked every year. If you have already been diagnosed with high blood pressure or have other chronic health conditions, talk to your doctor about how often you should get a blood pressure check.
Where to Check Your Blood Pressure
Many people aren’t sure where they can get their blood pressure checked. If that’s you, don’t worry. You can get your blood pressure checked at almost any healthcare office. Many pharmacies and clinics also offer free or low-cost blood pressure testing.
Here are a few of the best places to get an updated blood pressure reading:
- Your doctor’s office
- Pharmacies or stores with an automatic blood pressure machine
- Your local urgent care center
- At home with provided equipment
How to Check Your Blood Pressure at Home
After getting your blood pressure checked by a doctor, they may recommend you monitor your blood pressure more frequently. If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure already or have other conditions that increase your risk for heart disease and need to check your levels frequently, doing so at home is much more convenient. Your healthcare provider will usually give you an at-home blood pressure monitor to use. This automatic device measures your blood pressure with the touch of a button and is easy to use. Some devices will even share your results with your healthcare provider automatically so they can be added to your records. Others will require you to keep track in a log. Ultimately, you should follow your provider’s directions for how often you should check your blood pressure at home.
High Blood Pressure Management Tips
Whether you’ve been diagnosed with hypertension or just want to ensure your blood pressure stays at a healthy level, there are many steps you can take at home. Of course, working together with your healthcare provider is the best way to prevent and manage high blood pressure. Between visits, you can use these tips to help keep your blood pressure healthy at home without using medications.
1. Watch Your Weight
Blood pressure levels and weight are closely related. People who are overweight or obese often have hypertension as well. By shedding a few extra pounds to maintain a healthy weight for your age, gender, and height, you can often improve your blood pressure.
2. Exercise and Eat Well
You’re probably familiar with exercise being beneficial for almost every health condition. Those benefits aren’t a coincidence! Getting regular physical activity can help improve your health in many ways—including your blood pressure. Experts suggest around 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day can help keep your blood pressure levels healthy. Likewise, maintaining a balanced diet also has a positive impact on hypertension. Ideally, your diet should include whole grains and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Foods high in fat and processed sugars should be avoided.
3. Reduce Your Salt Intake
While we’re talking about your diet, it’s also important to monitor your salt (sodium) intake. Sodium causes your body to retain extra water, which causes an increase in your blood pressure. By reducing your salt intake, you can also lower your blood pressure. Try to avoid foods that are heavily processed, such as canned foods, deli meat, and salty snacks. Most whole (and natural) foods contain low amounts of sodium. Another easy way to reduce your intake is by not adding extra salt to your food. Put the salt shaker aside and opt for a healthier alternative to add flavor like dried herbs or spices.
4. Avoid Alcohol and Smoking
The negative health effects of both alcohol and smoking are well known. Unsurprisingly, both have a significant impact on your blood pressure. People who smoke and/or drink more than one alcoholic drink per day are much more likely to have hypertension. To help keep your blood pressure levels low, avoid both smoking and alcohol. Doing so is also good for your body’s immune system, vital organs, and mental health.
5. Get Good Sleep
Did you know your sleep can impact your blood pressure? It can! If you sleep less than six hours per night over an extended period, your levels will rise. From a busy schedule to stress, there are many reasons you could have trouble sleeping. But if you want to improve your blood pressure levels, prioritizing sleep is important. Try to stick to a regular schedule on both weekdays and weekends and get at least eight hours of sleep per night. You should also limit screen time before bedtime since staring at your electronic devices can lead to poor sleep quality.
Velocity Urgent Care is Here for You
If you want to get your blood pressure checked or talk to a healthcare provider about your concerns, Velocity Urgent Care is here to help. All of our locations offer screenings and our team is ready to answer your questions about keeping your blood pressure healthy. Our friendly providers will also discuss how you can make your lifestyle healthier. High blood pressure management can be challenging. So don’t do it alone. Velocity Urgent Care is also ready to help with any other health concerns, injuries, or illnesses you’re dealing with. We treat cold/flu symptoms, burns, minor cuts, sprains/strains, broken bones, and much more. Velocity Urgent Care offers convenient online registration that helps you limit your contact with others during your visit. You can sign up for an appointment online to skip the waiting room and arrive when it’s your turn to be seen. We even offer text message updates so you can wait in the car (if you prefer) until it’s time for your appointment. Velocity Urgent Care is an in-network provider for most major insurance plans, meaning you can be seen for the cost of your co-pay and deductible.
All our locations also accept Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare. Veterans Administration beneficiaries are also welcome.
To learn more about our services, locations, hours, and more, visit www.velocityuc.com.