What is blood pressure?
Your heart pumps blood. Blood pressure is the force of blood against your blood vessels as it circulates. This force is necessary to make the blood flow, delivering nutrients and oxygen throughout your body.
What is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, means there is too much pressure in your blood vessels. This can damage your blood vessels and cause health problems. Anyone can develop high blood pressure, but it becomes more common as you get older.
Controlling Blood Pressure
You can make changes to your lifestyle that will help you control your blood pressure. Your doctor might prescribe medications that can help you. By controlling your blood pressure, you will lower your risk for the harmful effects of high blood pressure.
Make Lifestyle Changes
Lifestyle changes can help you control your blood pressure.
- Diet. Eat a healthy diet that is:
* Low in salt (sodium), total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.
* High in fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Be active. Try taking a brisk 10-minute walk 3 times a day 5 days a week.
- Do not smoke. If you smoke, quit as soon as possible.
These lifestyle changes for blood pressure control are similar to those for preventing high blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure Risk Factors
- Being overweight or obese
- Little or no exercise
- Too much salt in the diet
- Drinking too much alcohol
- History of high blood pressure in the family
Preventing High Blood Pressure
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Getting regular exercise
- Reducing salt intake
- Drinking alcohol in moderation
- Reduce stress