“The redefinition actually only resulted in about a 1.9 percent increase in the percentage of people that would require drugs to treat their hypertension,” Carey said. “So the cornerstone of the guideline is lifestyle modification.”
There are six lifestyle modifications that are significant in reducing one’s risk for developing high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. These factors include accomplishing weight loss, reducing salt intake and eating a heart healthy diet such as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet. The DASH diet encourages individuals to increase their intake of fruits, vegetables and healthy fats while limiting sodium intake.
Other modifications include increasing aerobic exercise to three times a week for at least 30 minutes per day, reducing alcohol intake and increasing potassium intake. Potassium supplementation is essential due to potassium’s role in blood vessel dilation, which aids in reducing blood pressure.