High blood pressure: Five ways to lower your readings – lifestyle changes to make today

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High blood pressure is the measure of how strongly the blood presses against the walls of the arteries when the heart beats. Having high blood pressure means that this measurement is consistently too high over a period of time. High blood pressure puts a strain on all the blood vessels in the body, including the ones leading to the brain. This is why the condition is so serious as it causes a blockage or a blood vessel in the brain to weaken and bleed. These factors could lead a person to have a stroke or a heart attack. To reduce the risk of these fatalities, making a few tweaks and changes to your lifestyle could mean a matter of life or death.

High blood pressure does not have any symptoms, so for many they go about their day unaware of the dangers looming.

That is why it is important to have your blood pressure checked regularly. A way of ensuring your levels are healthy is by living a healthy lifestyle.

A few lifestyle changes can help keep blood pressure in check and prevent the condition developing.

Diet

The food you eat greatly impacts your overall health. Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products will greatly effect your blood pressure levels.

Avoiding saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol will keep levels healthy.

Weight loss

Being overweight or obese increases a person’s risk of developing high blood pressure.

A person’s blood pressure rises as their body weight increases. A person should try and aim to lose at least 10 pounds if overweight as losing weight has the biggest effect on those who already have high blood pressure.

Coffee

Coffee can cause a short, but dramatic increase in blood pressure, even if a person doesn’t have high blood pressure.

It is unsure what causes the spike in blood pressure, some researchers believe that caffeine could block a hormone that helps keep the arteries widened.

Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol will raise a person’s blood pressure to unhealthy levels.

Having more than three drinks in one sitting temporarily increases blood pressure. Binge drinking could lead to long-term increases and puts a person at higher risk.

A person should try and opt for lighter options of alcoholic drinks.

Salt

Eating salt raises the amount of sodium in the blood stream and wrecks the delicate balance, reducing the ability for the kidneys to remove water.

The result is higher blood pressure due to the extra fluid and extra strain on the delicate blood vessels leading to the kidneys.

Always check food labels for the amount of salt in products.

Blood Pressure UK said: “The more changes you make, the more benefit you will gain and the greater the effect is likely to be on lowering your blood pressure.

“In fact, some people find that sticking to a healthy lifestyle they don’t need to take any medicines at all.

“The good news is that these changes really do work and will help to lower your blood pressure for life.”

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