Healthy lifestyle: healthy blood pressure


How can you prevent High Blood Pressure?
You can take steps to prevent yourself from developing high blood pressure (HBP). Healthy lifestyle habits can help you maintain normal blood pressure.
• Follow a healthy diet. Limit the amount of sodium (salt) and alcohol that you consume.
• Be physically active. Routine physical activity can lower HBP and reduce your risk for other health problems.
• Maintain a healthy weight. Staying at a healthy weight can help you control HBP and reduce your risk for other health problems.
• Quit smoking. Smoking can damage your blood vessels and raise your risk for HBP. Smoking can also worsen health problems related to HBP.
• Manage your stress and learn to cope with stress. Learning how to manage stress, relax, and cope with problems can improve your emotional and physical health.
Many people who adopt these healthy lifestyle habits are able to prevent or delay HBP. The more lifestyle changes you make, the more likely you are to lower your blood pressure and avoid related health problems.
How can you control HBP?
If you have HBP, you can still take steps to prevent the long-term problems it can cause. The healthy lifestyle habits listed and medicines can help you live a longer, more active life.
Follow the treatment plan your doctor prescribes to control your blood pressure. Treatment can help you prevent or delay coronary heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and other health problems.
What about children and teens?
A healthy lifestyle also can help prevent HBP in children and teens.
• Follow a healthy diet that focuses on plenty of fruits, vegetables, and, for children older than 4 years old, low-fat dairy products. A healthy diet also is low in saturated and trans fats and salt.
• Be active for at least 1 to 2 hours per day. Limit time in front of the TV or computer to 2 hours per day at the most.
• Maintain a healthy weight. If your child is overweight, ask his or her doctor about how your child can safely lose weight.
Make these healthy habits part of your and your family’s health plan to help you and your child adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle.