Important lifestyle factors for those with hypertension:
- Alcohol: Consume alcohol in moderation (if at all); No more than 1 glass of wine or beer per day in women; no more than 2 glasses of wine or beer in men.
- Caffeine: Avoid caffeine-containing beverages such as coffee, tea, chocolate, and some cola.
- Exercise: Discuss an exercise plan with your doctor to gradually raise your level of activity. Aerobic activity such as walking, running, swimming, or biking can lower blood pressure. Keep in mind isometric exercises such as bodybuilding, weight lifting, or push-ups can raise blood pressure. Never start an exercise regime without first consulting your physician.
- Maintain a normal weight: Weight loss is a cornerstone of blood pressure treatment, with many studies showing that a loss of 10 to 20 pounds can lower blood pressure significantly.
- Smoking: Stop smoking and avoid exposure to secondary smoke.
- Stress Reduction: Plan a strategy to reduce stress. Some popular stress reducing activities include mediation, reading, painting, and gardening. Some people benefit from biofeedback programs. Anything that can reduce the stress in your daily life is worthwhile.
Continue to HTN National Guidelines
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- Kearney PM, Whelton M, Reynolds K, Whelton PK, He J. Worldwide prevalence of hypertension: a systematic review. J Hypertens. 2004 Jan;22(1):11-9. 
- Then KL, Rankin JA. Hypertension: a review for clinicians. Nurs Clin North Am. 2004 Dec;39(4):793-814. 
- Toto RD. Hypertension and kidney literature review 2000. Clin Nephrol. 2002 Oct;58(4):253-9.