High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a condition in which the force of your blood against your artery walls is too high. This can damage your arteries and lead to heart disease.
Cholesterol is a fatty substance that’s found in your blood. You need cholesterol for many things, including making hormones and building cell membranes. But too much cholesterol can build up in your arteries and block the flow of blood, leading to heart disease.
High blood pressure and cholesterol are related because they are both risk factors for heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, so it’s important to understand how these two conditions can increase your risk.
There are many other risk factors for heart disease, including smoking, diabetes, and family history. But high blood pressure and cholesterol are two of the most important risk factors that you can do something about. You can control your blood pressure by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding things that raise your blood pressure, such as smoking.
Here are a few tips to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol low:
Eat a healthy diet.
Eating a healthy diet is one of the best things you can do to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. A healthy diet includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. It should be low in salt, saturated fat, and trans fat.
This will cause your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol to go down and your HDL (“good”) cholesterol to go up. Which lead to a healthier heart.
Regular exercise can lower your blood pressure and improve your cholesterol levels. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity most days of the week. Walking, jogging, swimming, and biking are all good options. Strength training is also important. It can help you increase your HDL cholesterol and lower your LDL cholesterol.
Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease. If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your heart health. Talk to your doctor about ways to help you quit.
Limit alcohol use.
If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. That means no more than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women. It will effect your cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease. Find ways to manage your stress, such as exercise, relaxation techniques, and support from family and friends.
Lose weight if you’re overweight
Being overweight or obese raises your risk of high blood pressure and cholesterol. Losing even a few pounds can help lower your numbers. This will help you since loosing weight gives you a lower cholesterol level and a healthier heart. Your circulation system will also benefit from the weight loss.
Get enough sleep.
Sleep is important for your overall health. It can also help reduce stress, which can lower your blood pressure. aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
Talk to your doctor.
If you have high blood pressure or cholesterol, or if you’re at risk for heart disease, talk to your doctor about ways to lower your risk. Your doctor may prescribe medication to help lower your numbers.
You can also ask your doctor about getting a cholesterol test. This test measures your levels, including your LDL and HDL cholesterol. A fasting lipid panel is the most common type of test. For this test, you fast (no food or drink) for nine to 12 hours before the blood test.
You may also need a glucose test to check for diabetes. Diabetes is a risk factor for heart disease. If you have diabetes, working with your doctor to control your blood sugar can help lower your risk of heart disease.
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