5 ways to lower your blood pressure
By Liz Connor. Published 2020-07-14BOLD-Wellbeing
Simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference.
High blood pressure is often called a ‘silent killer’ because, if left untreated, it can increase your risk of developing a number of serious long-term health conditions such as coronary heart disease and kidney disease.Blood pressure is a measure of the force that your heart uses to pump blood around your body. If you have high blood pressure, your readings sit consistently at 140 over 90 or higher.The tricky thing about high blood pressure is that it often doesn’t cause any signs or symptoms, so the only way to know your risk is to have yours measured by your GP.If your reading is high, doctors can help you to keep your blood pressure to a safe level by prescribing certain medications, but lifestyle changes can help to combat the issue too.Here are just a few that your GP may recommend…
1. Get waist wiseIf you’re overweight or obese, losing weight is one of the most effective things you can do to lower your blood pressure.Safe and sustainable weight loss can be achieved through a healthy diet and regular exercise, and some people find that sticking to a calorie limit can help them to keep track of their intake.“Women should have a waist that is less than 80cm (31.5in) while men should aim to be under 94cm (37in),” says GP Dr Carrie Ruxton, speaking on behalf of the Tea Advisory Panel.
2. Be activeIt’s no secret that exercise is good for you and lowering your blood pressure is just one of its many benefits. A 2013 study found that inactive older adults who took part in daily aerobic exercise were able to significantly reduce their blood pressure over time.“Aerobic exercise is best for your heart and circulation, so get out for a jog, take up dancing, use the stairs more often or take a swim,” says Ruxton. “Experts suggest that at least 30 minutes a day is optimal.”
- Cook with beetroot
- Banish the booze
- Cut down on salt