It’s important to take care of your heart. After all, if your heart is in good shape, then the rest of you will most likely be in good condition, too. A key element of having a healthy heart is ensuring that your blood pressure level is healthy. High blood pressure is a serious condition that can lead to a whole host of potentially life-threatening health complications, including heart disease and stroke.
So if you’ve been told that your blood pressure is on the high side, you’ll need to take action. In this blog, we’ll run through a host of tips that’ll help to lower your blood pressure and improve your heart health.
Tip #1: Movement
Exercising and movement are some of the best things you can do for your heart, not to mention one of the easiest. Regular aerobic exercise will help make your heart stronger and make it easier to pump blood through your arteries, which will lower your blood pressure.
Studies have shown that 75 minutes of vigorous exercise or 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week can significantly boost your heart health. Thirty minutes of walking each day are all you need to push your heart’s health in the right direction, though the more you exercise, the stronger your heart will be.
Tip #2: Losing Weight
There’s a close link between weight gain and an increase in blood pressure. And the inverse is true, too — losing weight helps to lower blood pressure. Consequently, losing some inches off your waistline is one of the best lifestyle changes you can make for your heart’s health.
Those, particularly at risk of high blood pressure, are men with a waist size greater than 40 inches and women with a waist size greater than 35 inches. However, it’s important to speak to a professional to learn what size and weight you should be, since it varies from person to person.
Tip #3: Eating Well
Healthy ingredients lead to a healthy body, mind, and soul. So if you have high blood pressure, take a look at your diet. Does it contain plenty of fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and grains? Or does it contain ingredients that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol? If it’s the latter, then look at making some changes.
If you’re unsure what your diet consists of, then look at keeping a food diary for a week or two. It’s also recommended to read the labels of the food products you buy to learn what’s really inside them. Sometimes, the packing of a food product can give the impression that it’s good for you even when it’s anything but healthy.
Tip #4: Lowering Stress
Stress can cause short-term spikes in blood pressure levels. This happens because stress releases hormones that can cause your heart to beat faster and your blood vessels to narrow, resulting in high blood pressure. The solution to this issue is to reduce your stress levels.
Of course, in this day and age, there are plenty of things that can cause stress. But there are ways to manage stress, too. Taking a walk, spending time in nature, and practicing yoga and meditation are some of the most effective methods for lowering stress. In doing so, you won’t only be helping your heart; you’ll be happier and calmer too.
Tip #5: Up Your Dark Chocolate Intake
You’ll be happy to learn that eating dark chocolate may help to reduce your blood pressure levels. The key part of this sentence is dark chocolate; regular chocolate won’t help with anything other than satisfying your sweet tooth! It’s also important not to go overboard. The benefits of eating dark chocolate only come from eating small quantities.
So why is it good for you? Dark chocolate has high quantities of flavonoids that cause blood vessels to dilate. For the most effective chocolate-based treatment, eat around 30 grams of dark chocolate that contains 70%+ cocoa each day.
Tip #6: Reduce Alcohol and Tobacco Consumption
Both alcohol and tobacco can be bad for your heart to varying degrees. Studies have shown that small amounts of alcohol — such as a glass of red wine a day — can help to lower blood pressure. However, if you drink too much, then the levels will rise.
Alcohol can also undo the effectiveness of blood pressure medication. Smoking tobacco products causes a sharp increase in blood pressure that can last for several minutes after you’ve finished. After you have quit smoking, your blood pressure levels will return to normal. And of course, there are a host of health benefits to quitting smoking, too.
Tip #7: Get Professional Help
There are plenty of things you can do at home that’ll help lower your blood pressure, but it’s also important to work with medical professionals and organizations.
That’s because, to get your blood pressure to acceptable levels, you may need to supplement your lifestyle changes with medication. And you can find what you need almost anywhere! Check out how you can get your medication from an online pharmacy and doctor, here. It’s recommended to see your doctor after you’ve started treatment to see how effective it is working.
Tip #8: Resting Well
A good night’s rest is the foundation for good health, including normal blood pressure levels. Blood pressure lowers when you’re asleep, and studies have shown that long-term sleep problems can result in consistent blood pressure issues, especially if you’re middle-aged or older.
Of course, nobody wants to have a restless night in bed. There are things you can do, however, that’ll help you to reach the land of Nod more straightforwardly. For instance, limiting your screen time before bed, improving the comfort levels of your bedroom, and exercising throughout the day.
Tip #9: Ongoing Monitoring
Finally, be sure to keep a close eye on your blood pressure levels by using a digital monitor daily. While the tips we’ve outlined in this article will work generally, everyone is different. There’ll be some changes that work better for you than others. Once you’ve introduced a new change into your lifestyle, you’ll need to check that it’s working.
Millions of people live with high blood pressure. Through a combination of lifestyle changes and medication, you can get the issue under control and reduce the likelihood of developing other issues.