Because of the high levels of obesity on a global scale, there have been a lot of adverse health problems that have come along with it. One of these problems is people suffering from high blood pressure, and the numbers are staggering. It’s estimated that around half of American adults have hypertension, with many of these people needing to simply adjust their lifestyle to see healthy numbers. If you find yourself in this category or simply want to avoid being a part of it, here are five easy ways to lower your blood pressure today.
5. Watch Your Weight
When you go to a doctor’s office, one of the first things that they’ll check for is your blood pressure. Either immediately after that or before that, they’ll check for your weight as well. Being overweight and having high blood pressure often go hand in hand, so it’s important to take control of your weight before it poses serious health problems. Try to keep your BMI (body mass index) between 18.5 and 25 to maintain an optimal weight. Obviously not everyone is the same, so your body will vary.
4. Cut the Salt
Since more people aren’t eating foods that are fresh and natural, there’s been a high dependency on sodium. High levels of sodium lead to a bevy of heart problems, with blood pressure being among the top of the list. Instead, you should focus on foods that are high in potassium, including bananas, spinach and yogurt. These foods also contain a lot of fiber and vitamins to give you an added boost.
3. Exercise More
You could probably guess that lowering your blood pressure might be as simple as getting more active. Many people are living more sedentary lives, especially as they’re working longer hours tied to a desk and not having the time or energy to get their regular exercise. It might not be easy at first, but starting off with some light activity four times a week (about 30 minutes each time) will almost instantly lead to reduced blood pressure. Get those steps in, wear a fitness tracker if you have to, and you’ll feel the benefit.
2. Cut the Vices
If you’re already eating fried, fatty and salty foods, you’re only making your blood pressure that much worse by adding a vice such as excessive alcohol consumption or smoking cigarettes. These two are some of the biggest contributors to high blood pressure levels, and you’ll see the benefits within just hours of ditching them. Cigarettes should be cut from your life completely while alcohol should be consumed very sparingly.
Even if you’re exercising every day, eating healthy, have a ‘normal’ BMI and don’t smoke, you can still be at risk for high blood pressure. This is because of the normal stress that we feel daily. If you take some time out of your day to destress through methods such as meditation or simply relaxing on the couch in the middle of a busy time, you’ll be able to lower your blood pressure. Studies have shown that it takes just eight weeks to see major improvements.