Five Things LPNs Should Know to Prevent Hypertension
During your career as a Licensed Practical Nurse, or LPN, you will likely encounter many patients with hypertension, or high blood pressure. As a practical nurse, you will need to help treat these patients and educate them as to proper prevention methods of the condition. But did you know that it will be just as important to practice these prevention methods yourself?
While nursing professionals spend much of their time caring for others, all too often, they fail to pay attention to their own health. This is quite unfortunate, especially since nursing careers can be highly stressful. Nevertheless, there are some things you can do to prevent yourself from developing hypertension. The top five methods are explained below.
1. Keeping Your Weight Down Can Reduce Your Risk
First and foremost, it is essential for you to know that keeping your weight down can help to reduce your risk of hypertension. In fact, if you are obese, just by losing 10 pounds, you can significantly reduce the risk of high blood pressure. According to the WebMD website, carrying an excessive amount of weight can increase your risk of hypertension by as much as six times than that of people who are of desirable weights.
2. Exercising Can Help to Prevent Hypertension
Another thing you should know about preventing hypertension is that by helping to keep your weight down, exercising can also help to prevent high blood pressure. Now, you may be thinking that with your full schedule as an LPN, you will not have time for an exercise regime. However, just 20 or 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day such as walking or light aerobics is all that is required to reduce your risk of this serious condition.
3. Eating Healthy Can Control Your Blood Pressure
In addition to keeping your weight down, eating healthy can help to control your blood pressure as well. Make sure that you plan healthy meals that include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, fish, and beans. At the same time, limit your intake of sodium, alcohol, saturated and trans fats, and sugar. In excessive amounts, all of the latter foods can lead to hypertension.
4. Practicing Stress Management Can Keep Blood Pressure in Check
Stress is a common problem among LPNs today, and unfortunately, research has shown that high levels of chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure. Because of this, it is important for you to learn and practice a variety of stress management techniques that work for you. Some of the methods known to be of help to many LPNs include:
- Practicing Meditation or Yoga
- Practicing Visualization Exercises
- Taking Part in Favorite Hobbies
- Relaxing in a Warm Bath
- Reading an Interesting Book
- Visiting a Friend or Relative
- Seeking Counseling if Necessary
- Joining a Support Group
5. Monitoring Your Blood Pressure is Crucial
Although monitoring your blood pressure regularly may not necessarily prevent your risk of hypertension, it can help you to catch it early on should you develop the condition. As a person who is subjected to high levels of stress, it is recommended for you to have your blood pressure checked at least once or twice a year. You can do this on your own or by visiting your regular doctor.