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Blood Pressure and Lifestyle Quiz

Normal blood pressure is lower than:

The correct answer is 120 over 80. You have high blood pressure if one or both of your blood pressure readings are higher than 130/80 mm Hg most of the time. If the top blood pressure number is between 120 and 130 mm Hg, and the bottom blood pressure number is less than 80 mm Hg, it is called elevated blood pressure. Making key lifestyle changes can help you get elevated blood pressure or high blood pressure under control.

Daily exercise lowers blood pressure.

The correct answer is true. Try to get at least 30 minutes a day of moderate aerobic exercise, such as walking, running, cycling, or swimming. Check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise program.

People with high blood pressure should limit alcohol to:

The correct answer is 1 to 2 drinks a day. Women should have no more than 1 drink a day and men no more than 2 drinks a day. Sticking to these limits or cutting back even further can help bring down blood pressure. Talk with your doctor if you have trouble cutting back your drinking.

When your stress level goes up, so does your blood pressure.

The correct answer is true. Ask your doctor about healthy ways to reduce stress. Exercise, yoga, or meditation may be helpful.

Your body weight does not affect your blood pressure.

The correct answer is false. If you are overweight, losing weight is an important part of controlling your high blood pressure. Even a small amount of weight loss can help. Controlling your portions, eating a heart-healthy diet, and getting regular exercise can all help you drop excess weight.

You can lower blood pressure by giving up:

The correct answer is smoking. If you've tried to quit before without success, remember that the more times you try, the better your chances of quitting for good. Your doctor can recommend a smoking cessation program or other strategies to help you quit.

People with high blood pressure should avoid foods that are high in:

The correct answer is salt. If you have high blood pressure, it's important to limit the amount of salt you eat. Aim for less than 1,500 mg of sodium a day. That's a little more than ½ a teaspoon of salt. Start by taking the salt shaker off the table and avoiding processed foods.

People with high blood pressure should also avoid eating:

The correct answer is all of the above. These foods are high in saturated fats, which can increase your risk of heart disease. Foods with the words "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" on the label also have saturated fats, so keep them out of your shopping cart.

Diet changes can help lower blood pressure within a few weeks.

The correct answer is true. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet can help lower blood pressure, sometimes within a few weeks. Besides limiting salt and saturated fats, this diet is high in fiber, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Your doctor can recommend a dietitian to help you plan DASH diet meals.

You can add fiber to your diet by eating:

The correct answer is all of the above. Simple strategies to take in more fiber include replacing white rice with brown, replacing white bread with whole-grain bread, and eating high-fiber breakfast cereals. Aim for 30 grams of fiber a day.

You can keep track of your blood pressure at home.

The correct answer is true. Your doctor may want you to measure your blood pressure at home. Get a quality device with a cuff for your arm and a digital readout. Be sure the cuff fits you. This will let you see how lifestyle changes affect your blood pressure. As your blood pressure gets lower, so will your stroke and heart attack risk.

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