Blood pressure is a measurement of the force with which blood circulates throughout your body. Odds are you’ve had your blood pressure taken at some point in your life, and it’s important to try to keep your blood pressure within a healthy range. This can get harder to do as we get older as plaque buildup and other cardiovascular issues can put you at an increased risk for an elevated blood pressure.
Left untreated, high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can put you at a heightened risk for stroke or heart attack, so it’s important you work to effectively manage your blood pressure. In today’s blog, we explain how physical therapy can help you manage your blood pressure level.
How To Manage Your Blood Pressure
There are a number of medications on the market that are designed to help lower your blood pressure, but as we’ve mentioned numerous times in the past, medications aren’t a great stand-alone option for treating any health issue. They can be a great compliment to a comprehensive treatment plan, but it’s best to include some active treatments alongside a passive option like medications. Some of the most common active treatments to manage your blood pressure include exercise, physical therapy and dietary improvements.
Exercise is arguably the most common recommendation for anyone looking to manage their blood pressure, as regular exercise will help to make your heart stronger and your arteries more flexible. A strong heart can pump blood with less effort, in turn reducing your blood pressure. A good goal to strive for is 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise at least five times a week, and you can find ways to achieve that on your own or with the help of your physical therapist.
We can help design an exercise program suited to your needs and goals. In order to lower your blood pressure and keep it in a healthy range, we know that exercise programs need to be sustainable. We can help set you up with an activity regimen that you find enjoyable so that doing these exercises on a consistent basis becomes a long-term habit.
Aside from developing an activity regimen that you enjoy to help lower your blood pressure, your physical therapist can help walk you through some simple dietary adjustments to further help with your hypertension. Diets full of sodium, caffeine and alcohol can contribute to an elevated blood pressure, whereas nitrate-rich vegetables and colorful fruits can work to lower blood pressure. Your physical therapist can help you find some food groups that you enjoy that will promote healthy blood pressure.
It’s also important to be mindful of what you eat because of how obesity is tied to hypertension. Obesity has been linked to worsened cardiovascular health, which is closely tied to your blood pressure. Working to manage your weight can help you get your blood pressure back towards a healthy range. By increasing your exercise levels and being more mindful of your diet, we’re confident that you’ll be able to lose some weight and reduce your blood pressure levels.
Remember, you don’t need a referral in order to see a physical therapist, so if you want to connect with a specialist and work to get your blood pressure under control, skip the doctor visit and come straight to a PT clinic near you. We’ll help find an exercise and diet routine that suits your needs and helps you become a healthier version of yourself.
For more information, or to set up an appointment with one of our physical therapists, give the team at OrthoRehab Specialists a call today at (612) 339-2041.
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