If you don’t know your number, it’s time to get your blood pressure checked.

You can probably recite from memory the lifestyle factors that are recommended for promoting heart health and controlling blood pressure.

Regular physical activity and a plant-rich, low-salt diet to managing stress and body weight help in managing high blood pressure.

But the thought of doing even one of those things can be paralyzing and a dramatic lifestyle makeover typically doesn’t last more than a few months.

“Change is hard for people, and a lot of people think it’s all or nothing,” notes Janet Omstead, a health coach and author of The Play Book: How to Get in the Habit of Good Health (self-published, 2019).

So where do you start?

To make behavioural changes stick, experts suggest focusing on manageable concrete actions rather than results;

  • setting up your environment to support your efforts
  • hitching one new healthy habit to an established routine
  • and weighing which small steps you could add to your day, rather than getting stuck on subtracting certain foods or scrutinizing the scale.

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