High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects about 1 in 3 Americans and is one of the main risk factors of heart disease. If diagnosed with hypertension there are two actions you should take: lifestyle interventions and/or medication.

Lifestyle Interventions

  • Reduce sodium intake:
    • Aim to reduce your sodium intake to less than 2,400 mg a day.
  • Increase physical activity:
    • Exercising at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Drink less:
    • Follow the recommended 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink for women.
  • Lose weight:
    • For individuals that are overweight or obese, weight loss can help lower blood pressure.

Medication

  • Lowers overall blood pressure:
    • Medication helps lower blood pressure with minimal effort.
  • Helps control extreme cases:
    • If lifestyle changes do not work, medication is highly recommended.

The best overall combination is adopting lifestyle changes AND medication to control blood pressure. By taking initiative and making these changes, it significantly reduces your risk of possible complications.

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