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5 Lifestyle Changes To Help Manage Blood Pressure
1. Exercise regularly
Just 30 minutes of light to moderate exercise per day can reduce your blood pressure by almost a fifth. Based on the results of multiple studies, individuals who exercised more than four hours per week in their leisure time had a 19% lower risk of high blood pressure than those who exercised less than one hour per week. In addition to reducing your HBP, regular physical activity can help maintain your weight and strengthen your heart. If the gym isn’t your thing, gather friends and go for a brisk walk, play outdoors with your children or join an organized adult sports league.
2. Limit your alcohol
While you may have heard a glass of red wine a day will work miracles, unfortunately, high blood pressure and booze just don’t mix. Alcohol can interfere with HBP medications, in addition to creating more damage to your blood vessels. But, everything in moderation!
3. Eat a healthy diet
Choosing foods that are low in fat, especially saturated fats, are key to lowering your blood pressure. In particular, saturated fats can build up inside your blood vessels. In addition, you should reduce the sodium in your diet. High sodium levels cause extra water to be stored in your body, creating higher blood pressure.
You can also eat foods rich in potassium to lessen the effects of sodium on blood pressure. The best sources of potassium are fruits and vegetables, rather than supplements.
4. Put down the cigarettes
In addition to causing cancer and other deadly diseases, each cigarette you smoke increases your blood pressure for many minutes after you finish.
5. Reduce your stress
Avoiding chronic stress will not only reduce your blood pressure, it can have limitless health benefits. In addition, stress can lead to bad decision making. If you react to stress by eating unhealthy food, drinking alcohol or smoking, you should be especially mindful of your stress level and try something proactive! Acupuncture, Yoga, and Qigong are a wonderful way for you to take an active role towards reducing stress.
*If you suspect that you have high blood pressure, we highly recommend that you consult with your doctor to find the best solutions that are right for you. If you are unsure about your blood pressure and have not had your yearly physical, what are you waiting for!?! There is no better time than now!
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