High blood pressure can be fatal, so it’s important to know your blood pressure reading and what you can do to keep things under control. Just follow these five simple steps recommended by blood pressure experts from the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
1. Know your numbers.
Most people diagnosed with high blood pressure want to stay below 140/90, but your doctor can tell you your personal target blood pressure.
2. Make a plan.
Work with your doctor to make a plan to lower your blood pressure. This may include medication and lifestyle changes.
3. Make a few lifestyle changes.
In many cases this will be your doctor’s first recommendation, likely in one of these areas:
Lose weight: Strive for a body mass index between 18 and 25.
Eat Healthier: Eat fruit, veggies, low-fat dairy and lean protein, but lower your saturated and total fat.
Reduce Sodium: Stay under 1,500 mg a day, which is associated with the greatest reduction in blood pressure.
Get active: Shoot for 40 minutes, 3-4 times a week.
4. Keep checking your blood pressure at home.
Whether you’re at home, at a store, or anywhere else where you can check your blood pressure, make a habit of checking it regularly, tracking your readings and sharing them with your doctor.
5. Take medication as prescribed
Take medications exactly the way your doctor prescribes them.