High blood pressure has been linked to causing headaches and chronic pain in the body which can be a contributing factor to low back pain. Even when you have a chronic condition, like high blood pressure, there are many things you can do to live a healthy, satisfying life. Making small changes to your daily habits can help you take care of your health, do what you enjoy, and get the most out of life.

Below are 6 key changes that can help you live well with high blood pressure.

1. Eat Well

What it means:

  • Eat less salt
  • Limit caffeine
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Follow the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan.
    For more information about the DASH diet, go to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s website at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/dash-eating-plan

Why it matters:

Eating well can help you:

  • Control your blood pressure
  • Manage your weight
  • Prevent or manage other health problems, such as diabetes

2. Be Active

What it means:

  • Make activity part of your daily routine
  • Work up to 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week (at least 150 minutes per week)
  • Walking is a great place to start

Why it matters:

Being active can help you:

  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Need less medicine for your blood pressure (always check with your medical doctor before making any changes to your medicines)
  • Feel less stressed and in a better mood
  • Have more fun in your life

3. Manage your weight

What it means:

  • Choose healthy foods
  • Be active every day
  • Know what weight is healthy for you
  • Have a plan to get to or stay at your healthy weight
  • Manage stress
  • Get support if you need it

Why it matters:

Managing your weight can:

  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Help your blood pressure medicine work better
  • Help you have more energy

4.  Know what triggers your blood pressure to go up and down

What it means:

  • Know how emotions and stress can raise your blood pressure
  • Avoid tobacco and limit alcohol and caffeine
  • Stick with your healthy eating and exercise plan

Why it matters:

Knowing what affects your blood pressure can help you:

  • Avoid triggers that make your blood pressure go high or low and cause chronic pain
  • Change unhealthy habits that affect your blood pressure
  • Keep your blood pressure in a normal range

5. Manage stress in healthy ways

What it means:

  • Practice and use healthy stress management skills
  • Change or avoid stressful situations when you can
  • Fill your life with people, hobbies, and activities you enjoy

Why it matters:

Managing stress can help you:

  • Keep your blood pressure from going up
  • Stick with your healthy habits
  • Take care of yourself and your health

6. Be an active member of your health care team

What it means:

  • Take time to learn about high blood pressure. For more information about high blood pressure, go to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s website at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/high-blood-pressure
  • Know what to do to take care of yourself and your high blood pressure
  • Change your habits when they are not helping you to be healthy
  • Take part in health decisions with your doctor and other members of your health care team
  • Become confident that you can do what you need to do to live well
  • Ask your health care practitioner if there are any tests, referrals, or treatments that might be helpful to use along with your current treatment plan

Why it matters:

Taking an active role in your health can help you:

  • Take charge of your health and your life
  • Get the most out of your health care
  • Live better and feel better
  • Become more confident
  • Become motivated to make changes