HEALTHY HEART BLOG

How to lower your blood pressure

How to lower your blood pressure

High blood pressure (hypertension) can often go unnoticed because it shows no symptoms. Regular blood pressure checks are the only way to check your heart health.

Many people live their day to day lives unknowingly affected by high blood pressure. Centers for Disease and Control Prevention reported in 2016 that at least 13 million adult Americans are unaware that they have high blood pressure. In 2017, The Public Health England reported that more than 5 million adults are undiagnosed in England. These facts show how many people could benefit from measuring their blood pressure regularly. 

If left unchecked, high blood pressure can lead to more severe and long-lasting health problems. The risk of suffering from heart disease including heart attacks, strokes, peripheral arterial disease, aortic aneurysms and heart failure increases. But let’s look on the bright side: healthy changes, even the small ones, can make all the difference. We know what is good for us, and it’s good to keep reminding ourselves and look at attainable changes which will help to lower your blood pressure.

There’s no time like the present to take steps to lower your blood pressure. You don’t have to wait until being diagnosed with high blood pressure to make healthy adjustments to your everyday routine. Prevention is better than cure so why not start today.



Cutting back your salt intake

Salt may be a helping hand in cooking tasty meals but it plays a big role in raising your blood pressure.

Many have become accustomed to the convenience of processed food – frozen, pasteurised, canned and dried. These types of food usually have extra added salt. The British Heart Foundation has recommended replacing salt with a salt substitute (Morton Salt Substitute, Nu-Salt, No Salt or Lo Salt – always consult your doctor). Many salt substitutes contain potassium chloride which bears a similar taste to salt. This way you can enjoy the taste of salt without actually harming your health. Or spices can offer great tasting food and is a much healthier option to help lower your blood pressure.


Reducing alcohol consumption 

Heavy alcohol consumption can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure. The arteries can become damaged and later, hardened due to the increase of lipids/fats in the bloodstream. Subsequently, the forming of blood clots can appear and potentially cause a heart attack or stroke. Because alcohol contains a lot of calories it’s very easy to gain weight which is another factor that increases blood pressure.

Adhering to guidelines and recommended limits for alcohol consumption is a safe way to stay in control and healthy. In the US and UK, it is safest to not drink more than 14 units in a week and best advised to spread these units out. Help lower your blood pressure and drink in moderation, take some days off alcohol and avoid binge drinking.


Walking

It can be tricky trying to fit exercise into your schedule. The key is to seize every opportunity to be active – walking for example. It is a simple but effective way to fit more exercise into your day without completely disrupting your schedule. Walking is a form of aerobic activity that not only helps to lose weight but can help improve your heart health. This repetitive and rhythmic exercise places focus on your heart and blood vessels.

Whether you’re on your way to work or running errands, adding 40 minutes of brisk walking three to four times a week can help lower your blood pressure.


Get some rest and stress less

Lack of sleep and elevated stress levels can make you prone to serious heart health conditions, high blood pressure being one of them. The occasional sleepless night isn’t detrimental to your health but several nights can be. 

Lack of sleep affects your mental and physical wellbeing all while triggering higher stress levels. When confronted by a stressful situation the body produces hormones into the blood which makes the heart beat faster and the blood vessels constrict. This reaction temporarily raises blood pressure. If your stress levels are not routinely managed well, it can contribute to high blood pressure.

Know your numbers 

It’s important to know your numbers and take ample care of your heart health. Regular blood pressure checks are the only way to find out if it’s too high and if these numbers are consistent. 

We all know sometimes booking doctor appointments aren’t always suitable for your timetable. And that’s why Qardio has made blood pressure monitoring easy and convenient to suit you. QardioArm offers you flexibility and technology with style. A smart blood pressure monitor that helps you measure and keep track of your numbers whenever and wherever you need.



Sources

British Heart Foundation

Blood Pressure UK

Centers for Disease and Control Prevention

Drinkaware UK

Drinkaware US

Last updated: November 14, 2019