These 6 things may raise your blood pressure

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High blood pressure can be tricky to diagnose, but taking control of it is a positive step forward for your heart health as a trucker.

These six things, as provided by the American Heart Association (AHA), are known to lead to increased blood pressure levels. Some, like salt and weight gain, are more well-known risk factors, but some of these may surprise you.

1. Salt 

Salt is the big one. Everyone who has been diagnosed with blood pressure has been told, “Watch your sodium intake.” High sodium intake increases risk of heart disease and stroke, which is why the AHA recommends a diet of no more than 1,500 miligrams of sodium per day.

2. Decongestants

The use of decongestants may raise blood pressure, and many over-the-counter cold and flu medicines include these decongestants.

3. Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol can lead to increased and unhealthy blood pressure levels. According to the Mayo Clinic, drinking more than three drinks in one sitting will temporarily increase your blood pressure and repeated binge drinking can lead to long-term increases in blood pressure levels. 

4. Hot Tubs and Saunas

As a trucker, you probably aren’t taking a dip in a hot tub each night. But when you do have the opportunity to indulge, you should know that moving back and forth from cold water to hot tubs or saunas is known to cause an increase in blood pressure levels.

5. Weight Gain

According to the AHA, losing as few as 10 pounds may help you lower your blood pressure.

6. Sitting

Sitting for most of the day, trucking requires, may lead to higher blood pressure levels and diabetes. Try to work in some light activity when you stop for breaks to help keep your blood pressure and your heart healthy.

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