The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have released the 2017 Blood Pressure Guidelines. In these new guidelines, the blood pressure for what is considered hypertension (high blood pressure) has been lowered. It used to be hypertension was considered any pressure 140/90 mmHg or greater.
In the current guidelines, normal blood pressure is considered less than a systolic of 120 mmHg and a diastolic of less than 80 mmHg, elevated pressure is considered a systolic of 120-129 mmHg with a diastolic of 80 mmHg or less, Hypertension stage 1 is now a systolic of 130-139 mmHg with a diastolic of 80-89 mmHg and Hypertension stage 2 is a systolic of 140 mmHg or greater and a diastolic of 90 or greater.
Does this mean everyone that now has hypertension stage 1 goes on medication? First of all, this pressure should be a summary of two or more visits to your Physician according to the guidelines. Also, this pressure is one that can be mitigated through what is considered modifiable behavior. I have put together 5 hacks that will help you keep your pressure in check. Ultimately, what we do or don’t do is responsible for our well-being.
- Stop smoking
Smoking cigarettes narrow the arteries and results in high blood pressure. Your condition will see an improvement when you eliminate that behavior.
2. Cut down on drinking alcohol
For women, it is recommended it is recommended you not exceed one drink of alcohol a day and for men, it is recommended you not exceed more than two drinks a day.
3. Decrease Caffeine intake
It has been said that caffeine is the most prevalent drug there is. Decrease the amount of caffeine before you have your doctor increase your medication if you’re already on blood pressure medication.
4. Lose Weight
Start making healthy choices to lose the weight. Don’t go on diets, instead make better choices by eating more fruit and vegetables as opposed to fat and sugars.
It’s been proven that just 10 minutes of intense workout three times a week can aid in reducing your blood pressure.
In addition, everyone should own a blood pressure cuff and learn to take their blood pressure themselves. Sometimes at the doctors office, your blood pressure might be elevated due to “white coat hypertension.” Just the fact of being at the office and having your pressure taken can increase it. If you check it yourself, it’s easy to recognize a problem. I would advise that each adult have their own cuff so you’re not constantly adjusting it.