5 Easy Ways to Lower Blood Pressure
By Sandy Schroeder
One in three Americans have high blood pressure, and only about 50 percent of them have it under control. High blood pressure is known as a silent killer because it can trigger a heart attack or stroke without warning.
HarvardHealth reminds us how easy it is to check blood pressure, and what can be done to lower it without medications.
As always, maintaining regular checkups with your doctor is the first place to start. Once you know what your blood pressure numbers are, and what may be needed to deal with them, tips may help you help yourself.
Lose Extra Pounds
As little as a loss of 10 pounds may make a difference in your blood pressure readings. Start dropping pounds with a heart-healthy diet filled with fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds, lean poultry or fish and healthy oils like olive oil.
Pick activities that you love, like speed-walking, biking, or running, and aim for at least an hour five days a week. Gardening and playing with your kids in the park works, too. Or go out dancing with a friend, or enjoy a weekly hour of dancing in a community class. Keep the weekends active with watersports, hikes, or camping.
Strengthen Your Muscles
Add some weightlifting to your exercise activities. Yoga counts, too, as you perform poses that require you to lift your body weight. The stronger your muscles become the more calories your body will burn.
Lower Stress Levels
Stress hormones can narrow blood vessels creating blood pressure spikes. Over time these spikes may put you at risk for heart disease or stroke. Do whatever works for you to relax as you listen to music, swim daily, meditate in your garden or learn some deep breathing techniques that you can use wherever you are. Create quiet spots at work and at home that let you step away and wind down.
Get a Grip on Sodium: Read Labels
Many of us sail right past the recommended sodium level which is 1,500 milligrams daily. That is 3/4 of a teaspoon of salt. If you have a fast food egg/muffin breakfast, you will have consumed half of your sodium limit for the day. Consider fixing more of your own food and carefully check sodium content on key culprits.
- Rolls and bread
- Canned soups
- Restaurant fried or rotisserie chicken
- Cured meats like salami, bacon, or ham
Keeping blood pressure at normal levels just makes sense. We would never dream of running our cars too hard, but we may doing just that if we are not paying attention to our blood pressure levels.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Dacula, Ga.