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American Heart Month: Managing Hypertension

Approximately 1 of 3 adults in the U.S. have hypertension, or high blood pressure. Hypertension often has no symptoms, and left untreated, can lead to problems such as heart disease and heart failure. If you have not gotten your blood pressure checked for a while, now is the time to start a routine of blood pressure checkups. It is very easy to get started. Go to this link for a map of locations in New York City where you can get your blood pressure checked for free.

If you receive a high blood pressure reading be sure to discuss treatment options with your medical provider. Making diet and lifestyle adjustments is also part of managing your blood pressure. Here is how you can get started.  What to do if you have hypertension?

  1.  Increase the amount of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds in your diet. These foods make up a core part of the heart healthy diet and give your body many other health benefits as well. One easy way to incorporate these foods into your diet is a daily smoothie including some or all of the following: kale, spinach, blueberries, chia seeds, banana, almond nut butter, and almond milk.
  2. Reduce the amount of high sodium foods in your diet. These include deli cold cuts, potato chips, canned foods and foods from fast food restaurants and buffets. Try to cook more at home when possible using spices and herbs instead of added salt.
  3. Increase physical activity gradually if needed. Pick an activity that you might enjoy. Try jogging, yoga, join a martial arts or sports club, and see if you can maintain a routine of physical activity sessions for 2-3 times a week.
  4. If you smoke tobacco, consider slowly decreasing the amount you smoke each week. Try joining support groups with people who are also trying to quit smoking. Check here for a map of smoking cessation programs in NYC.
  5. Decrease the amount of alcohol consumed or take a break from drinks containing alcohol.
  6. Check out our updated Hypertension Fact Sheet for more nutrition and lifestyle tips and suggested foods to help maintain a healthy blood pressure level.

High blood pressure is common and dangerous, but you can make a step towards prevention today! #HeartHealthyNYC #HeartMonth #WearRedandGive

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