While only your doctor can verify for you whether you have high blood pressure, what we can tell you is that it’s incredibly common. In fact, more than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure.

Not quite sure what high blood pressure even is? Our team at AFC Urgent Care Hixson wants to take a few minutes to talk through the basics about blood pressure and how to keep yours within normal levels.

What Is Blood Pressure Exactly?

This one’s an easy one—blood pressure is the literal pressure with which blood is hitting your artery walls as it moves through the body.

When your blood pressure is high, that means that the blood is hitting your artery walls very forcefully. Over time, this can damage the walls and increase your risk of developing heart disease.

Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure

  • Smoking
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Eating too much sodium
  • Eating too little potassium
  • Being overly stressed
  • Having a family history of high blood pressure

What Can I Do to Maintain Normal Blood Pressure?

To keep your heart safe—and your blood pumping normally through your arteries—your best plan of action is to practice healthy lifestyle habits. Don’t get overwhelmed by everything you need to do. Small steps can equal big change.

Eat a healthy diet filled with fruits and vegetables, exercise for 30 minutes most days, don’t smoke, limit your alcohol consumption, manage stress effectively and get enough quality sleep. Certain foods can also help lower your blood pressure.

Foods That Lower Blood Pressure

  • Berries
  • Oats and oatmeal
  • Bananas
  • Fatty fish, such as salmon or mackerel
  • Seeds
  • Leafy greens

Feeling less than your best? Schedule an AFC TeleCare appointment with AFC Urgent Care Hixson today to get the care you need from the comfort of home.