6 tips on how to control high blood pressure

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6 tips on how to control high blood pressure

Discover 6 helpful tips on how to control high blood pressure without having to take any medication.

According to the NHS, more than one in four adults in the UK have high blood pressure.

What’s more worrying is that the symptoms are hardly noticeable, although it can increase the risk of suffering heart attacks and strokes if left untreated.

Here are six tips on how to control high blood pressure and limit your chances of developing it.

Keep your weight in check

If your weight increases, so does your blood pressure.

By losing just 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms), you can take a massive step towards reducing your blood pressure*.

Thankfully there’s a simple lifestyle hack that can help you achieve this, which leads nicely onto the next tip…

Are you an avid coffee drinker? We reveal 9 ways the delectable drink can benefit your health

Take regular exercise

Exercising regularly helps you manage your weight and strengthen your heart, both of which play a significant role in determining the state of your blood pressure.

However, you don’t have to become a marathon runner overnight. There are plenty of things you can do to ensure you lead a more active lifestyle, such as:

  • Taking the stairs instead of the lift
  • Go for a brisk, thirty minute walk during your lunch hour instead of sitting at your desk
  • Choose to walk instead of taking the bus
  • Commute to work via foot or bike, rather than train or car

Of course, there are also more vigorous forms of exercise you can undertake. These include:

  • Power walking
  • Jogging
  • Swimming
  • Cycling

Limit your sodium intake

You might sprinkle it into the cooking pot or over your chips for extra flavour, but over-indulging in salt isn’t good for your blood pressure.

It raises the amount of sodium in your bloodstream and limits your kidneys’ ability to remove water. This leads to higher blood pressure due to the extra fluid and extra strain on the blood vessels leading to the kidneys.**

Limiting your salt intake is quite simple. For instance, you could use natural herbs and spices to flavour your food instead. Also, make sure you check the nutrition levels of food you buy at the supermarket, or meals you enjoy at restaurants.

Drink alcohol in moderation

According to Drink Aware***, alcohol can have a serious long-term effect on your blood pressure, particularly if you tend to overindulge in the substance at the weekend.

Moderate alcohol intake can have a positive effect on your health, so there’s no need to cut it out of your life completely. Indeed, a study by Harvard University published by The Telegraph**** found that moderate alcohol intake (one to two glasses per day) can improve blood flow, blood vessels’ lining function and reduce clotting.

But it’s crucial that you consume alcohol in moderation, otherwise your blood pressure could pay the price.

Looking for other ways to keep yourself healthy? Check out how a Mediterranean diet can benefit you

Reduce your stress levels

When stress hormones are released into your bloodstream, they make your heart beat faster and your blood vessels constrict.

Reducing your stress levels may seem easier said than done, but all it takes is a moment to consider the cause.

Stress can be caused by numerous factors, including:

  • Work
  • Family
  • Finances
  • Illness

If you feel yourself getting stressed, pause for a moment and have a think about what’s causing it. Once you isolate the cause, you can work towards implementing a solution.

 

*Mayo Clinic, May 2015.
**Blood Pressure UK, http://www.bloodpressureuk.org/microsites/salt/Home/Whysaltisbad/Saltseffects
***Drink Aware, https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/alcohol-facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/effects-on-the-body/alcohol-and-blood-pressure/
**** The Telegraph, 2016 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/food-and-drink/wine/is-red-wine-really-healthy/