Changing one's attitude and practices are necessary in effectively controlling hypertension, or high blood pressure.
- Smoking injures blood vessel walls and speeds up the process of hardening of the arteries. If you do not smoke, don't start. If you smoke, quit.
- Extra weight makes the heart work harder, and that raises blood pressure. Losing even 10 pounds can help lower your blood pressure. This is most especially important if you are overweight and hypertensive.
- Regular physical activity makes the heart and blood vessels function more efficiently and can help in weight loss. Exercise daily, or choose an activity that you enjoy such as jogging, dancing, or hiking.
- Salt causes fluid retention in the body and subsequently puts more pressure on the blood vessels. Drinking more than two alcoholic drinks per day also raises blood pressure. So it is a must to cut down on salt and alcohol, especially if you already have hypertension. Plan meals, and do your best to eat more fruits, vegetables, and high-fiber food.
- Regular visits to your physician will ensure periodic examination for possible complications and monitoring of maintenance medications. Taking regular medication as directed by the doctor is vital in controlling hypertension. Even if you feel well, take it. Do not stop your medication unless advised by the physician.