Tips to help lower or maintain a healthy blood pressure
It’s your body so take control of your heart health! We have put together the following tips to help you make the right choices for your long-term health:
Less salt, more flavour
It has been proven that salt increases blood pressure so try avoiding salt altogether. Flavour can be added to food in lots of other ways such as using herbs, adding balsamic or rice vinegar to salads, introducing more spices or a splash of wine or drizzle of honey – be inventive!
It is surprising how many everyday foods contain salt so look out for it in your cereals and bread.
Read more on how little salt our body needs
Shed a few pounds
Losing just a few pounds can make a big difference to your blood pressure. Try grilling instead of frying, add fruit instead of sugar to your cereal, and swap that sugary drink for a glass of water. You’ll be surprised at how much better you’ll feel.
Including potassium-rich foods into your diet such as bananas, tuna, white beans, dark leafy greens and potatoes with their skins will help to reduce your blood pressure by enabling your kidneys to get rid of excess fluid and sodium from your bloodstream.
You can strengthen your heart and lower your blood pressure by exercising for at least 30 minutes, 5 times a week.
Walking, cycling, jogging, dancing or swimming are all great ways to exercise.
Check out our diet and exercise section for some fabulous ideas on healthy eating and how to become more active.
If you are anxious and stressed this can lead to spikes in your blood pressure. Try deep breathing, practicing mindfulness, or yoga.
Exercise and a good night’s sleep are also hugely beneficial in reducing stress.
It is best to limit your alcohol intake so sticking to the limit of up to 14 units for women and 21 units for men and having a couple of alcohol-free days a week can also reduce your health risks.
Smoking clogs up arteries and reduces blood flow so this combined with high blood pressure makes a bad situation even worse!
The risk of heart disease drops dramatically just one year after stopping so it is never too late to quit.
See our article for more benefits of stopping smoking.
Get to know your blood pressure
Healthy adults over 40 should have their blood pressure checked at least once every 5 years. So don’t put it off – get yourself checked!
Melina - Assistant Editor
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