Phillip Schofield gets blood pressure checked in Istanbul in 1991
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Well, the specialist team at Delamere Health, have released numerous ways to lower blood pressure. Now the 1.13 billion people worldwide who suffer from hypertension can make simpler lifestyle changes rather than rely on antibiotics. If your blood pressure is consistently above 140/90mmHg or 160/100mmHg you should seek medical advice for medication to be used in addition to lifestyle changes.
High blood pressure puts extra strain on your organs and can increase the risk of multiple potentially life-threatening health conditions including heart disease, strokes, kidney disease and vascular dementia, so adopting these changes will lower your risk and make for an all round healthier life.
Doctors recommend spending at least 150 minutes per week exercising to keep blood pressure low.
This doesn’t mean you have to run out and buy a gym membership instantly, but partaking in exercise or activities that increase your heart rate and engage multiple muscle groups will improve your overall fitness levels.
An alternative to running, jogging, swimming or cycling is actually horticulture. Being out in your garden weeding, raking and trimming for just 30-45 minutes can burn up to 300 calories.
Stress is one of the key factors that leads to spikes in blood pressure, as the body releases hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline in these moments.
In order to reduce stress and in the long-term reduce high blood pressure you need to find a good way for yourself to relax.
This could include yoga classes, listening to music, or reducing your alcohol and caffeine intake.
Eat less salty foods
Foods high in salt such as canned meat, fish, frozen dinners and salted nuts disrupt the body’s natural sodium balance in the body- which results in fluid retention and increase in pressure exerted by blood against the blood vessel walls.
The government suggests that adult men and women should eat no more than a teaspoon of salt a day (six grams), meaning checking the back of pre-packaged food items for sodium level is essential.
Eat more potassium-rich foods
Potassium acts as a counter to sodium which down the line eases the tension in your blood vessels.
Foods such as cooked spinach, sweet potatoes, mushrooms and dried fruits are all packed with potassium and adults should be aiming to eat around 3,500mg of potassium a day.
According to new research by the American Heart Association, working for more than 49 hours a week raises your risk of high blood pressure by 66 percent.
Although this is hard to control and is largely out of many peoples hands, it is paramount that you take some time to avoid working overtime and instead relax and unwind.
Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake
Similar to high salty foods, the Government advises limits on how much adults should drink.
For avid coffee lovers, drinking more than four cups a day can increase your risk of high blood pressure as caffeine is a vasoconstrictor and makes your blood vessels narrower.
As with alcohol, drinking more than three alcoholic beverages in one day can temporarily raise blood pressure.
Limits on alcohol intake should be no more than two drinks per day for men and no more than one per day for women.
Improve your sleep
When your body enters a normal sleep cycle you enter into relaxation mode where blood pressure is always reduced.
Therefore, if you are getting less than six hours of sleep per night it is recommended to change up your sleeping pattern as studies have found those who are getting less sleep had a 70 percent higher mortality rate than those who had between seven and eight hours of sleep.
Sharing a hug, kiss or laugh
Although it may sound cheesy, studies from the University of North Carolina have revealed that close physical contact can aid in lowering blood pressure.
Linked to the lowering of stress that a hug or kiss can bring, laughing also has the same effect. Bringing some truth to the saying that laughter is the best medicine.
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