How to Prevent Hypertension

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Step 1
Check your blood pressure and pulse regularly. See your doctor if they're high. The top blood pressure number should be less than 140. The bottom number should be less than 90. A normal resting heart rate (pulse) is between 66 and 82.

Step 2
Lose weight if you are overweight. Many doctors think weight loss is the single most important non drug treatment for prevention of hypertension.

Step 3
Eat a low-fat, high-fiber diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables. It is OK to use salt in moderation, unless your doctor orders otherwise. Drinking red wine has been touted as good for the circulation, but only in moderation.

Step 4
Exercise aerobically. It lowers blood pressure and prevents hypertension.

Step 5
Quit smoking. Hypertension and smoking significantly increase your risk of stroke.

Step 6
Reduce your stress. When you feel stressed, your arteries and veins constrict, which is detrimental to your health.

Step 7
Know your family's health history. If you have close relatives with hypertension, you are more likely to suffer from this disease. You will need to be even more diligent in checking your blood pressure.

Step 8
Check your cholesterol once a year. High blood cholesterol can narrow arteries and make you more prone to hypertension.

Step 9
Keep a journal of your cholesterol, blood pressure and pulse.