The best time to try to manage high blood pressure is immediately after you become aware that you have the problem. This will allow you to be more proactive in your management before you have any complications of the condition. One of the ways to be proactive is by exercising. If you exercise from a young age forward, you can most likely prevent high blood pressure and its complications. Obviously, if you have complications of high blood pressure such as heart disease or kidney disease, exercise will be a more difficult task.
When you exercise, you’ll want to achieve an increase your heart rate and work multiple muscles in your body. Of course, a significant benefit of exercising will be weight loss. Weight loss will act in concert with exercise to help improve your blood pressure. A good exercise routine is key, and it’s best to consult a fitness and nutritional expert to create the kind of regimen that works best for you.
Part of establishing a good routine is developing an exercise method you’ll be able to use continually in the future. It needs to become a habit for you. You don’t want to approach exercise as a temporary thing. The minute you stop, you’ll begin gaining weight again and impede your progress. Establish your routine and keep it up and maintain your momentum.
Exercise that increases your heart rate for a reasonable length of time is very good for the heart. Using weights to build muscle is also extremely useful. Other activities that you can add include hiking, biking, swimming, elliptical training, and yoga. Be sure to consult your physician to make sure that you are able to perform the type of exercise that interests you.
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I’m excited to talk about this topic today because not only do I truly believe that you have the power to reverse heart disease and lower high blood pressure to improve your health, but the science also agrees! You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of these chronic diseases so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
As you may already know, I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you improve blood pressure and reverse heart disease. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy.
Tools to Improve Heart Health
Blood Pressure Monitoring
Since weight management is very important in blood pressure control, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor.
Remember, healthy lifestyle behaviors–like eating a whole-foods plant-based diet that is low in sodium, being physically active, and stress management are the best ways to prevent and control high blood pressure. Please talk with your doctor about any complementary health approaches, including supplements, you use.
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PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
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