Whilst not easy to achieve, improvement in lifestyle can prevent or delay having to take the first antihypertensive therapies or prevent/delay having to take the second/third drugs to optimize blood pressure control.
The general guidelines are relatively simple:
- Particularly if you are overweight, reduce the total amount of calories you eat every day in order to optimize body weight
- Gradually but totally phase out food with added sodium, food preserved in salt, packaged foods containing salts (snacks, sausages, salami, processed meats, some frozen foods)
- Reduce your intake of simple sugars (including sweetened fruit juices)
- Increase your intake of vegetables of all types
- Prefer whole grain foods and fishes
- Increase your daily physical activity, not just sports, depending on your level of training (no over-exertion if you are untrained). For untrained people, even three sessions per week of walking continuously at a brisk pace for 40-45 minutes may be sufficient.
- Try to optimize your stress management