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Work Your Body, Work Your Mind

It took me a long time to admit that I wasn’t successfully coping with my depression and anxiety on my own. It took even longer to come up with a plan to fight back against my own...

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Our Managing High Blood Pressure Experts

Dr. Thomas Moore

Dr. Thomas Moore

Senior author of The DASH Diet for Hypertension

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Dr. Norman Kaplan

Professor of internal medicine at the University of Texas...

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Dr. Mark Houston

Author and director of Hypertension Institute at Saint Thomas...

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Top 5 Things to Do

If having high blood pressure feels overwhelming, it may be time to start outlining your battle plan. Here’s a list of five things you can do to control your high blood pressure.

1. Get educated.

As basic as this suggestion seems, many people diagnosed with high blood pressure simply pretend it doesn’t exist. The more you know about the condition, its causes and its treatment options, the better armed you are to combat high blood pressure. Ignorance is never bliss.

2. Invest in a monitor.

Many home blood pressure monitors are reasonably priced, and can be purchased online or at your local drug store. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a recommendation on which ones are most accurate. There’s great peace of mind in knowing you can check your blood pressure at home anytime you want.

3. Change your lifestyle.

Your diet and exercise routine will need adjustment to bring your blood pressure down to a healthy level. It’s best to start a daily journal to identify factors that may be contributing to your high blood pressure. Certain stresses, bad eating habits and lack of exercise are among the risk factors you should eliminate.

4. Locate a good support group.

Many hospitals and clinics offer information on local blood pressure support groups, and there are countless online forums, blogs and chat rooms devoted to the subject. Knowing you’re not alone in fighting high blood pressure can help ease some of your anxieties.

5. Get out and have some fun.

It’s so easy to allow a medical condition to become all-consuming. Don’t let high blood pressure fool you into becoming a hermit. Make it a habit to incorporate a little exercise into your daily routine: Play with your kids at the park, meet a friend at the gym a few times a week or just take a walk and enjoy the weather.

Posted: 7/28/08