While living a healthy lifestyle is important throughout all stages of life, managing our health becomes increasingly important as we age. Unfortunately, weight gain, cholesterol, heart disease, and high blood pressure are just a few of the health problems that tend to come more easily with age. Your doctor can likely help you lower you blood pressure by prescribing medication or recommending lifestyle changes, but there are some simple measures you can take to start controlling your blood pressure today:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
Overweight people are more likely to experience high blood-pressure levels than people within a healthy weight range. Furthermore, extra weight can disturb your breathing at night, causing your blood pressure to increase while you sleep. Ask your doctor what a healthy waistline would be for you, as well as the safest, most effective way to attain it.
- Adjust your diet.
Of course, this tip overlaps with the previous one, but there isn’t always a one-to one correlation. Even if you continue to hang onto a few extra pounds, changing your diet to one rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and low-fat dairy—as well as limiting or eliminating your saturated fat, sugar, sodium, and cholesterol intake—can significantly reduce your blood pressure.
- Adopt a regular exercise routine.
We’ve recently discussed the importance of regular exercise for seniors, and lowered blood pressure and weight management are just two of the many benefits of regular physical activity. The experts recommend getting in 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week to bring your blood pressure down to safer levels and maintain overall health. As with weight loss and diet, ask your doctor what the safest, most effective form of exercise might be for you.
- Cut back on caffeine and alcohol.
Many people are surprised to learn that alcohol can potentially lower blood pressure—so long as it’s consumed in moderation. However, if you go beyond one or two drinks in a given day, it can actually have the opposite effect and raise blood pressure. Caffeine has been shown to raise blood pressure levels in some people, while it seems to have little-to-no effect on others. You can measure your own blood pressure after you consume caffeine to find out whether you’re sensitive to it, or you can speak to your doctor about what he or she recommends for you.
- Quit (or at least significantly cut back on) smoking.
Getting off nicotine is all-but guaranteed to lower your blood pressure. For many people, quitting smoking is one of the most difficult things they ever do, but there are many resources out there that can help you quit. Talk to a health professional about the most cutting-edge, effective techniques for smoking cessation.
Each phase of life brings new challenges, and Village Park Senior Living is here to help seniors get the most out of their golden years. If you’re interested in learning more about assisted living, independent living, memory care, or any of the many programs, activities, and living options we offer, please contact Village Park Senior Living for more information. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for updates and to check back often for new blogs.