You know you’re in shape because you exercise every day. You’re no couch potato. In fact, you’re one of the fittest people in your group of friends.
Why did you have high blood pressure the last time you went to the doctor?
The answer lies in the fact that there are multiple risk factors for high blood pressure. Keep reading to find out more from the team at Physicians Medical Primary Care.
What is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries is too high. Left untreated for too long, it can cause serious damage to your arteries and increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health issues.
High blood pressure has no symptoms — in fact, it’s often called “the silent killer” because you may not even know you have a problem until it’s too late. The only way to detect high blood pressure is to measure it regularly.
What are the risk factors for high blood pressure?
High blood pressure is caused by various risk factors, some of which you can control and others can’t. You can’t control your age, race, or genetics; your risk increases as you get older if you’re African-American, Hispanic, or Native American and have a family history of high blood pressure.
Factors you can control include diet, weight, smoking, drinking, stress, and exercise. The fact that you exercise is good — if not for that, your blood pressure might be even higher. If you’re battling several other risk factors, exercise alone may not be enough to keep your blood pressure at safe levels.
How can you control your blood pressure?
First, keep exercising. Don’t be tempted to stop — you’ve already got a good thing going, and it will be a vital part of your overall efforts to lower your blood pressure. Focus on the other risk factors you can control. For example:
- Improve your diet: Eat healthy foods low in sodium, sugar, cholesterol, and fats. Focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins.
- Lose weight: Keep exercising and eating healthy, and you should lose weight.
- Don’t smoke: Smoking can increase your blood pressure, so do whatever it takes to quit.
- Sleep/stress: Too little sleep and too much stress can also send your blood pressure through the roof. Do what you can to reduce your stress levels and maximize the amount of sleep you get every night.
If you have more questions or need more help treating your high blood pressure, the expert team at Physicians Medical Primary Care is here for you. To book an appointment, just call one of our three locations or use our convenient online scheduler. Don’t wait to see us — we need to get that blood pressure down!