There are many ways to sustainably reduce blood pressure. Some of them can involve a radical change in your lifestyle, others can be relatively easy.
Exercising can reduce blood pressure
Even a small change in the amount of physical activity performed can lead to large changes in blood pressure. This is because physical exercise strengthens the heart, which makes less effort to pump blood around the body and the outward pressure exerted on the blood vessels is reduced. In fact, in some situations, increasing physical activity can be as effective as a drug, as well as allowing you to reduce weight, a factor that makes you less vulnerable to hypertension.
Blood pressure monitoring is a great way to have an incentive when exercising. For many people, technology is a strong motivating factor, as it allows them to visualize long-term trends rather than living day to day.
It is important not to lose heart if you do not see immediate results: it can take up to three months for the new lifestyle to affect blood pressure. It should also be remembered that you are working on the long term: if you want the pressure to remain at optimal levels permanently, the same thing must be done for the amount of physical activity in which to engage.
Finally, it is advisable to avoid excessive physical activity. Better to start slowly, perhaps using the stairs to go to the office instead of taking the elevator or getting off the bus a couple of stops earlier. It is advisable to contact your doctor in the presence of pre-existing medical conditions, if you are over the age of 50 or if you experience particular discomfort when practicing more intense physical activity.
Improve your nutrition Less salt, sugar and alcohol. More fruit and vegetables.
Too much salt is bad for you. It is the single main cause of high blood pressure, as it contains sodium, which in excessive quantities causes fluid retention in the body, thereby increasing blood pressure.
The first step is to stop using it while cooking and adding it to food. It will be surprising to notice how quickly the palate adjusts: food does not need salt to taste great. If you really can’t live without it, you can try using a low sodium salt substitute.
That said, we only get 25 percent of the salt we eat into our body in this way.
Cut back on sugar. Eating too much sugar makes you fat and this predisposes to high blood pressure. Foods containing sugar create a vicious cycle as they give a short-term burst of energy but are digested quickly, leaving a feeling of languor and a desire to eat more.
Most of the sugars you consume do not come from the spoon you put in the cappuccino in the morning: they are hidden, such as in the case of the glucose syrup contained in most processed foods.
Eat more fruits and vegetables. The great thing about these foods is that they contain potassium. This neutralizes the effects of sodium and helps the kidneys filter and expel water from the bloodstream, thus reducing blood pressure. Fruits and vegetables also contain the vitamins, minerals and fiber that the body needs for its well-being.
Drink less alcohol. The recommended limits should be followed: 14 units per week for men and women. According to experts, it is these quantities that do not represent a significant additional health risk, although there is no safe limit and even one drink per day increases the risk of hypertension. The number of units is usually indicated on the container.