Avoiding triggers that can elevate blood pressure is key to maintaining a healthy blood pressure level.
Those with elevated blood pressure should aim to avoid salt, decongestants, alcohol, hot tubs and saunas, weight gain, and sitting.
“If you or someone you care about is among the nearly 80 million US adults with high blood pressure, you need to be aware of these things that can raise blood pressure and thwart your efforts to keep it in a healthy range,” according to a press release from the American Heart Association (AHA).
Specifically, the AHA recommends the following:
- · Aim to eat no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day; even cutting back to 2,400 mg can improve both blood pressure and heart health.
- · Read the labels on all OTC cold and flu decongestants – many of these products may raise blood pressure.
- · Limit alcohol intake to no more than 2 drinks per day for men and no more than 1 drink per day for women.
- · Avoid moving between cold water and a hot tub or sauna since it could cause an increase in blood pressure.
- · Maintain a healthy weight. Gradually increase physical activity – aim for 300 minutes per week of moderately intense aerobic activity – while reducing caloric intake until weight is stable. Losing as little as 5 to 10 pounds may help lower blood pressure.
- · Take frequent breaks from sitting and perform light activity to lower systolic blood pressure.