Balance your blood pressure
- adults over the age of 65
- being overweight or obese
- high consumption of alcohol
- high consumption of caffeine
- high consumption of salt
- a diet lacking in fruits and vegetables
- lack of exercise
- those of African or Caribbean descent
- those with family members who have high blood pressure.
Lose weightExtensive research suggests there is a strong link between weight and high blood pressure. If you are overweight and want to embark on a weight-loss programme, consult your GP for advice. They will typically advise a combination of healthy diet and exercise. Reduce your salt intake A healthy diet is key to stabilising your blood pressure. Eating a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, and devoid of unprocessed goods will provide the body with essential minerals and vitamins to help it function smoothly. Reducing salt intake is particularly important as sodium raises blood pressure. Ensure you eat no more than 6g a day. Cut back on alcohol and cigarettes Binge drinking is extremely dangerous for those with high blood pressure, but heavy smoking can also have negative effects. This is because they harden arteries and blood vessels, which could lead to heart disease. Keep alcohol consumption to special occasions only and stopping smoking altogether is strongly advised. Take time to relax Often high blood pressure can be exacerbated by stress, so it is important for sufferers to take time to relax and find their inner calm. Alternative treatments and complementary therapy such as yoga, massage, acupressure and reflexology are well-known for their stress reducing and relaxation benefits. For more information on a wide range of treatments available, check out our therapy topics page. View and comment on the original SheKnows article.
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