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For those of us with high blood pressure, (140/90 or higher), medication and extreme lifestyle changes are necessary immediately. But many of us have pre-hypertension and are still at a stage where smaller lifestyle changes can make a big difference. One that may keep us from having to take medication.

What are some of the little things we can change that will keep our blood pressure low?

  • Take small breaks for exercise. Most of us find it difficult to exercise for a longer time, so take several breaks throughout the day and go for a walk. Stretching exercises will also help and they increase our flexibility at the same time!
  • Stress is a major cause of high blood pressure. Becoming angry can raise your blood pressure immediately. Find ways to relieve stress such as deep breathing or yoga. Meditating can also help with not only stress but anxiety and depression.
  • If you are one of those lucky people who can nap during the day, taking a one hour nap has been proven to lower blood pressure and keep you from having to take medication.
  • Essential oils are also a good stress reliever. Try lavender or chamomile. Use a diffuser in your bedroom at night or sprinkle a few drops on your pillow.
  • Cut back on your alcohol intake. Alcohol is associated with an increased risk of chronic high blood pressure.
  • Coffee may contribute to raising your blood pressure. Excess amounts of coffee in someone who doesn’t metabolize it well will bring their blood pressure up.

Taking small steps to benefit your health will also benefit your heart. High blood pressure will usually respond to lifestyle changes. If it doesn’t, medication will be required. If you think you may have high blood pressure, see your healthcare specialist. To read the full article on lifestyle changes to keep your blood pressure low, click here.