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4 lifestyle changes to help manage hypertension

Video transcript

so let's say that you have hypertension and you'd like to figure out what to do about it there actually is a lot of good news here so there are about four different major things I can think of that you can do to help reduce hypertension fairly easy things you can do in your own home the first is your diet so there's something called the Dietary Approaches Dietary Approaches to stopping hypertension which basically means that you can actually use your diet to help reduce your blood pressure and a few different groups have actually come together and endorsed this set of guidelines like the American Heart Association and the Mayo Clinic and I actually went through and trying to figure out exactly what this - diet would recommend for me so I'm going to draw for you a plate this is kind of a plate of food if you can imagine all my meals in one day on one plate of food this is what the - diet would recommend this is one day and I take about 2,000 calories in a day so the DASH diet suggests that for me I should have about 5 fruits in a day and I should have 5 vegetables in a day so total of 10 fruits and vegetables and then on top of that about seven grains of which 3 are whole grains so 3 whole grains and for the remainder of my plate it suggests two dairy products so that would be something like nonfat milk or low-fat milk products like yogurt cheese and two meat products so it's not required that you eat meat in fact it's not necessary at all but if you do the recommendation is to have no more than two meat servings in a and if you are going to have meat definitely like a lean meat so these are the servings in one day that it recommends and and on top of that in a week it says I should probably have about four servings of nuts and seeds and it also went on to say that I should probably kind of limit how many sweets I take in this would be like candy or any sort of dessert donuts and any sort of fatty food or oil so fats and oils and this would be like potato chips or fries things like that it's really trying to limit those things and if you do this for a couple weeks you're actually shown in studies to have lower blood pressure at the end of it so within two weeks this starts it you know to make a difference which is pretty phenomenal so you can tell based on the way I've drawn this out that the - ty is really stressing fruits writing is an F and V for vegetables and also stressing lots of grains G so lots of fruits vegetables and grains it's also mention in the - diet that you should be on a low sodium diet so low sodium which is a limit of 1500 milligrams of sodium in a day okay and finally the dash diet says that if you drink alcohol let's say you drink alcohol that you should really try to limit your alcohol to less than two servings of alcohol in a day so less than or equal to two servings of alcohol in a day now in addition to diet there are a few other things you can do as well so you could exercise and exercise is actually very important in trying to reduce your blood pressure and there are a few different types of exercise you know there's resistance training with weights there's stretching as folks that do yoga can tell you but this the type of exercise that's probably most helpful for hypertension is aerobic exercise so you want to try to stress aerobic exercise now when I say aerobic exercise I mean things like I going for a swim or you're going for a jog and maybe even a brisk walk if if that suits what you enjoy or a bike ride so something like this that really gets your heart pumping and flowing blood all or getting blood to flow all the way throughout your body instead of just one muscle group so aerobic actually is really important and in terms of how much aerobic exercise a rough rule of thumb that I use is suggesting about 30 minutes per day for about five days a week and I find that that's a very reasonable thing that a lot of people can do and and find enjoyable okay so diet and exercise if you're doing these two things you're likely to be losing weight and I'm going to talk about weight in terms of a BMI a body mass index so if you're if you're hypertensive it's really good idea to try to get your BMI in a healthy range and for adults that would be between eighteen point five and twenty five it's a very healthy range of BMI and it's actually really important that you get there especially if you're on the high side so let's say you're obese and your BMI is over 30 or you're slightly overweight over 25 getting that BMI down below 25 is really really critical and finally for smokers it's really important to try to quit smoking so this is a fantastic time to kind of take your health into your hands and finally quit smoking or using tobacco products and nowadays we actually have so many medications that really help with this as well as counseling that it makes it much much easier to to try to quit smoking it's never an easy thing to do but it's certainly a lot easier when you have medications and counseling to help you and you have a good reason to do it like you have hypertension so these are these are the four kind of things to keep in mind in terms of things you can do at home