Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a chronic condition that describes having persistently elevated blood pressure levels. Without proper management of your blood pressure, your risk for developing chronic health conditions increases significantly.
At Urology Specialist Group, our urology team works closely with both men and women to reduce your risk for stroke, heart attack, and other consequences of uncontrolled hypertension.
Our providers can help you make the lifestyle changes you need to keep your blood pressure at healthy levels, reduce your dependence on blood pressure-lowering medications, and protect you from long-term health complications.
An overview of hypertension
Your blood pressure is the measure of the force of your blood against the walls of your arteries, the vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. This pressure naturally falls and rises as you move through your day, but for some, the pressure can remain high.
There are two classifications of hypertension:
Primary hypertension describes higher than normal blood pressure that develops gradually over time for no identifiable reason.
High blood pressure that results in secondary hypertension occurs from underlying causes like:
- Kidney disease
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Use of birth control and certain medications
Unfortunately, hypertension doesn’t cause any noticeable symptoms until the damage is already being done to your arteries and heart. Because of this, it’s important that you have frequent blood pressure screenings, especially if you have a personal history of hypertension or a family history of the condition.
5 lifestyle changes you can make now to lower your risk for hypertension
Many people start taking medications to manage hypertension without realizing there are things they can do on their own to lower their blood pressure.
Our team at Urology Specialist Group recommends the following five lifestyle tips to improve your blood pressure levels and possibly reduce the need for hypertension medications:
1. Manage your weight
Begin overweight or obese puts unnecessary pressure on your body, including your arteries. As your weight goes up, it’s likely that your blood pressure does, too.
Speak with our team about weight loss resources you can use to incorporate more healthy, fresh foods into your diet and increase your daily exercise amounts.
2. Keep moving
Daily exercise is important not only for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, but it’s also important for keeping your blood flowing properly through your blood vessels.
Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day can reduce your blood pressure levels significantly. You can engage in any type of aerobic exercise, including walking, swimming, or dancing, to better manage existing high blood pressure and prevent hypertension in your future.
3. Limit your use of alcohol
Drinking alcohol in moderation can be beneficial for lowering your blood pressure. However, if you drink too much alcohol, it can cause your blood pressure levels to rise. If you’re already on hypertension medications, the use of alcohol can also reduce how well they work at controlling your blood pressure.
4. Stay on top of your stress
Chronic, uncontrolled stress can have physical consequences on your body. Stress can increase your blood pressure to unhealthy levels.
If you’re already not eating well, smoking, or drinking too much alcohol, adding stress into the mix can contribute to the worsening of your hypertension and increasing your risk for stroke and heart attack.
5. Don’t neglect regular blood pressure check-ups
Since you can have high blood pressure for years without knowing it, it’s important that you keep up with routine physical exams and get your blood pressure checked regularly.
Our team at Urology Specialist Group offers comprehensive and preventive care for both women’s health and men’s health.
You can schedule a consultation by calling the Urology Specialist Group office nearest you or by booking an appointment online today.