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High blood pressure is a very common problem in North America these days, especially among people who are overweight or older. Our high pressure jobs don't help with our skyrocketing blood pressures. High blood pressure can put you at risk for heart attacks and strokes, so you should do your utmost to lower it once your doctor has warned you that you have it. Here are some simple steps you can take to lower your blood pressure and lengthen your life expectancy.


The foods we eat have a huge effect on our blood pressure, so instead of filling your plate with high fat snacks like hamburgers and potato chips, take a more responsible approach to your diet. Avoid fatty, salty foods and concentrate on vegetables and fiber. Cut out red meat from your diet and eat more chicken and fish. You may even want to become a vegetarian altogether. Read product packaging to make sure you know what's going into your body.


You may think that exercise would raise your blood pressure, but actually it strengthens your heart and lowers your blood cholesterol, which is good for your blood pressure. Take it easy at first, starting with strolls through the neighborhood or twenty minutes on the stationary bike and work your way up to more vigorous exercise. Cardio is more helpful than strength training, and make sure you do something you like so you'll find it easy to do regularly.


Learning to relax and let things go will also help to lower your blood pressure, because stress is one of the risk factors that raises it. This doesn't mean you have to quit your job, but if you find it's stressing you out, make an effort to take breaks and do something that makes you happy and relaxed. You might eat your lunch at the art museum so you can look at the paintings, meditate during your coffee breaks, or sit down every day in front of the TV for some comedy.


If diet, exercise, and medication don't lower your blood pressure significantly, you might want to head for the doctor's office and ask for a prescription for some high blood pressure medication. There are six types of medication your doctor might prescribe, each one working a different way. Let your doctor decide which would be best for you and follow your dosage instructions exactly.

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