Question: What Can I Do, Other Than Taking Pills, To Help Control My High Blood Pressure?
Answer: Well, there are lots of things we can do to help control high blood pressure. Some of these are things that you might already be doing, but may do a better job of. So there are a number of things in your lifestyle that can really lower the blood pressure. Let's begin with body weight, because in the United States that's really a particularly important problem for us.
So if your body weight is above ideal, then getting your body weight down can really improve your blood pressure. Part of that is eating a healthy diet and good physical activity. So physical activity can help in two ways; it can help lower the blood pressure itself, and it can also be an important part of helping you lose that weight. And then in your diet, you want to be sure you're eating the right number of calories to balance with the exercise you're getting, so you don't get out of calorie balance or gain weight. And then if you eat a diet that's high in fresh fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy products, it can improve the blood pressure as well.
The other thing important in that diet is the amount of salt that you take in, or sodium. So read those labels and try to pick some foods that are lower in sodium. And be careful when you're eating in restaurants, and when you're buying processed foods at the grocery store, because those already have a lot of salt in them. So be careful about eating too many of those.
And then alcohol is important, you want to stay within the recommended amounts of alcohol, if you choose to drink. And that would be for men, most men, not more than two drinks per day. And for women, and for men of low body weight, not more than one drink per day. So if you do those things, it's going to help control that blood pressure.
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