Staying healthy is essential when it comes to living a long and happy life. We can make sure we’re living our lives to the full by implementing a few lifestyle changes, whether that’s eating healthier, moving more, or learning to manage stress – they all contribute to your well-being. As we get older, we need to manage our blood pressure. If it’s too high, we may be at risk of a heart attack or stroke. But don’t worry! It’s never too late to make changes and every little helps.
If you’re worried about your heart health, or you’re looking for advice on a procedure, talk to a heart surgeon in London for expert advice. Here are a few tips and changes you can make to lower your blood pressure.
Make changes to your diet
One of the most important factors when it comes to managing your blood pressure is your diet. Some of the foods that you should be eating include whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy products like cheese and milk. Although it can seem difficult to change your eating habits, there are a few things that you can do to make healthy swaps, such as keeping a food diary to help you monitor what you’re eating and consider labels on the food you’re buying and make healthy choices.
Boosting your potassium intake is helpful for lessening the effects of sodium on blood pressure. You can find potassium in foods like mushrooms, avocado, potatoes, and bananas to name a few. You should try and eat your potassium rather than take it in supplement form, but you can ask your doctor what they think is best.
Paired with a change in diet, exercise is a good way to help reduce blood pressure. For the best results, you should be taking part in regular, physical activity for around 30 minutes most days. Making this change means that you must be consistent because if you stop exercising, your blood pressure can rise again. If you suffer from hypertension, exercise can help bring blood pressure down to safer levels.
You don’t have to run a marathon or train for hours a day, choosing something that you love will ensure that you stick with it. Some of the exercises you can choose from that you might enjoy include jogging, swimming or even dancing. High-intensity training is very effective, but don’t let the name put you off! These exercises are done in short bursts, they get your heart rate up but have recovery time between each. You could also add in some weights, as strength training can help to reduce blood pressure, as well as build strong muscles.
If you’re a smoker that suffers from high blood pressure, there’s one simple thing that you can do…quit! With every cigarette that you smoke, your blood pressure rises. The impact of smoking on your blood vessels is huge – it makes the arteries narrow and forces your heart to work harder. This can lead to heart attacks, as well as strokes.
Stopping smoking helps your blood pressure to come back down to normal levels – as well as reduces the overall risk of heart disease. There are so many benefits that stopping smoking can have on your body. It allows you to breathe more easily, improves circulation and leaves you feeling less stressed. Improvements will start as soon as you stop smoking, and in the long term, quitting means that you can half the risk of diseases like lung cancer and strokes. If you’re hoping to reduce blood pressure, stopping smoking is key.
Reduce stress levels
It is said that stress can contribute to high blood pressure. Blood pressure can also rise depending on how you handle stress, especially if this leads you to excessive smoking, drinking, or eating unhealthy food. Take some time out to reflect on how you can reduce the stress in your life, or even eliminate it completely. There are steps you can take to handle stress in a healthier, and more helpful way such as:
- Meditation and self-care – if you’re stressed, you’re likely taking on too much. Make sure that you’re taking time out for yourself so that you can collect your thoughts, reflect, and reframe what is stressing you out. Do something that you love, make sure you’re taking time for yourself, or meditate with the help of an app for ten minutes a day to see improvements
- Manage expectations – focus on your priorities and tick them off as you go, you can’t do everything all at once, so try and concentrate on what you need to get done. Take it step by step and avoid doing too much
- Avoid triggers – Parts of our daily life can be stressful, commuting for example. You could handle this by getting up earlier and beating the traffic for a more serene journey!
In general, improving your health comes with a range of benefits, including lowering your blood pressure. Making lifestyle changes can seem daunting but introducing a few of the above means that you can live a long and happy life, free from the risks that come with high blood pressure.