As a certified nurse practitioner, Seana Rutherford provides diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of health conditions. Seana Rutherford also offers preventive care and strives to reduce patients’ likelihood of developing serious medical conditions, such as high blood pressure.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, can put a patient at risk of such life-threatening illnesses as heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease. Reducing one’s risk requires paying careful attention to key elements of one’s lifestyle, including diet and exercise. Eating foods high in potassium can help to keep blood pressure controlled, as can adding foods with other benefits, such as garlic, fish, and calcium.
Experts also recommend that patients limit their intake of salt, sugar, and excess calories. Living above a healthy weight can increase an individual’s risk of hypertension by 200 to 600 percent. Fortunately, weight loss of as little as 10 pounds may help to reduce that risk.
Exercise plays a key role in maintaining a healthy weight, while also helping to control blood pressure in its own right. For those who are physically very active, their risk of high blood pressure is 20 to 50 percent lower than that of more sedentary individuals. Patients do not need to launch into an intensive workout routine right away, but half-hour workout sessions three times each week can be a positive start.