High blood pressure is still one of the most common causes of death. Having high blood pressure can lead to strokes, heart attacks, kidney and heart failure. High blood pressure is also related to dementia. When your blood pressure is normal it allows the blood to flow well and deliver oxygen to your body. As your blood pressure rises it damages your blood vessels, making it difficult for blood to provide oxygen to the different parts of your body. Below are some tips to lower your blood pressure.
How can I lower my blood pressure?
For most people with high blood pressure this is the first question they ask. They not only want to keep their blood pressure from getting any higher but they want to lower it as quickly as possible.
- Stay active. Physical activity is one of the best ways to keep your blood pressure low. Walking, bike riding, swimming or any physical activity that you enjoy can help to keep your blood pressure in check.
- Eat a healthy diet. Vegetables, fruits, low fat poultry or fish, grains and legumes should make up the majority of your diet. Avoid processed foods and fast foods.
- Cut back on alcohol. While an occasional drink is alright, the less alcohol you consume the better it is for you.
- Keep your weight down. If you are overweight it puts stress on every organ in your body. This makes it more difficult for your heart to do its job.
- Quit smoking. Smoking increases your risk of developing heart related problems.
- Cut down on salt. Many of us use too much salt and processed or fast foods contain large amounts of salt that cause you to have much more than the recommended amount in your body. Potassium rich foods such as bananas and leafy greens can help to keep your blood pressure lower.
May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month. Learn the risks of high blood pressure. Speak with your healthcare provider about ways you can keep your blood pressure within normal values. To read more about high blood pressure, its causes and methods to keep it under control, click here.