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3 Ways to Manage High Blood Pressure Without Medication

According to the American Heart Association, almost half of adults in the United States have high blood pressure. If untreated, high blood pressure (also called Hypertension) damages your circulatory system and puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke. But maintain­ing a healthy lifestyle—by staying active, eating well, and managing stress—can help you control it.

What causes high blood pressure?

Anyone can develop high blood pressure, but medical conditions including prehypertension (when your blood pressure is higher than average but not high enough to be considered hypertension)  and diabetes increase your risk. Being overweight, smoking, drinking too much alcohol, a poor diet, and a family history of high blood pressure are also risk factors. Knowing your blood pressure numbers and what they indicate is important because high blood pressure, often referred to as the “silent killer”, doesn’t usually have symptoms or warning signs.

What do your blood pressure numbers mean?

Your blood pressure includes two numbers, the top number (systolic) refers to the amount of pressure in your arteries during the contraction of your heart and the bottom number (diastolic), which refers to your blood pressure when your heart is between beats.

Top Number
(Systolic)

Bottom Number
(Diastolic)

What the
number means

What to do

Less than 120 Less than 80 Normal blood pressure Maintain a healthy lifestyle
120-139 80-89 Risk of developing
high blood pressure
(prehypertension)
Talk to your doctor about diet and lifestyle changes
140 or more 90-99 High blood pressure
(hypertension)
Talk to your doctor about diet, lifestyle changes, and medication

3 ways to manage high blood pressure

1. Stay Active

stay active

Physical activity can actually lower your blood pressure but, according to the American Heart Association, only about 1 in 5 Americans gets enough exercise. Just 30 minutes a day of physical activity can make a big difference in your overall health and well-being. It’s important to match your activity to your needs and abilities. There are many ways to be active, such as walking, biking, swimming, doing yard work, joining a yoga class, and more. Before starting an activity program, talk to your doctor about what is appropriate for you.

Tufts Health Plan Medicare Preferred members get up to $250 to join a gym, take a fitness class
(such as yoga, Pilates, tai chi, or aerobics), plus many more options!

2. Eat Well

eat well

Your daily food choices make a big difference in your overall health and blood pressure. According to the American Heart Association, poor eating habits contributed to approximately 45% of U.S. deaths in 2012 from heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes. Eating foods low in fat, sodium, and cholesterol  can lower your blood pressure. A healthy diet includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low fat or fat free milk, lean meats and other sources of protein, such as fish, beans, or tofu. For an eating plan designed to lower your blood pressure, consider using DASH, which stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension”. The DASH eating plan includes whole grains, poultry, fish, and nuts, and has low amounts of fats, red meats, sweets, and sugary beverages. Being overweight increases your risk for high blood pressure. Your blood pressure actually rises as your body weight increases. Losing just 10 pounds can lower your blood pressure.

Tufts Health Plan Medicare Preferred members can use their Preferred Extras to save 50% off the subscription rate for DASH for Health, an online program dedicated to helping you eat better by using the DASH Diet!

Plus, Tufts Health Plan Medicare Preferred members get up to $150 for weight management programs such as Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig!

 

3. Manage Stress

manage stress

An often overlooked component to high blood pressure is how well you manage stress. Stress by itself has not been proven to cause high blood pressure, but reacting to a stressful situation by overeating, smoking, or drinking alcohol can negatively affect your blood pressure. Having a healthy way of dealing with stress like exercising, practicing yoga, or meditating can help your body avoid a surge in blood pressure during stressful situations. 

Tufts Health Plan Medicare Preferred members can use their Preferred Extras to save on an 8-week mindfulness and stress reduction program to learn how to develop a plan for dealing with short- and long-term stressful situations!

 

This information is not a complete description of benefits. Call 1-800-701-9000 (TTY: 711) for more in­formation. Discounts and services included in the Preferred Extras program are not plan benefits and are not subject to the Medicare appeals process.

How Our Plans Can Help

Get up to $250 to join a gym!

As a Tufts Health Plan Medicare Preferred member you get up to $250 each year to join a gym take a fitness class (such as yoga, Pilates, tai chi or aerobics), plus many more options!

Learn more

Stay fit with $150 for Weight Management Programs!

Tufts Health Plan Medicare Preferred members get up to $150 each year to join programs to help reach a healthy weight such as Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig.

Learn more

Save on stress reduction program!

Tufts Health Plan Medicare Preferred members can use their Preferred Extras to save on an 8-week mindfulness and stress reduction program to learn how to develop a plan for dealing with short- and long-term stressful situations!

Learn more

Save 50% on DASH for Health!

Tufts Health Plan Medicare Preferred members can use their Preferred Extras to save 50% off the subscription rate for DASH for Health, an online program dedicated to helping you eat better by using the DASH Diet.

Learn more

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