HOW TO LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE: 5 EASY TIPS
We live in an era where digital blood pressure monitors have made it easier than ever to produce accurate blood pressure readings from the comfort of our own homes. However, even with this technology, 1 in 3 Americans still fall within a higher than healthy blood pressure range. Following these 5 tips can help keep you within a healthy bracket on the blood pressure chart.
- Exercise – With all of the conveniences of modern living, we often forget that our bodies are made to move. Working out can seem daunting to those who are not used to it. However, making improvements to heart health is surprisingly straightforward, and it does not require you to start pumping iron like Hulk Hogan. According to the Mayo Clinic, simply making sure to walk for 30 minutes most days has the ability to decrease your blood pressure “by about 5 to 8 mm Hg if you have high blood pressure.” Breaking up your walks into a few shorter ones spread throughout the day still counts!
- Reduce Sodium – Salt lowers the kidneys’ ability to remove water from your bloodstream. This leads to excess fluid in your blood vessels, which increases the body’s overall blood pressure. However, table salt is not the only culprit when it comes to sodium intake, as processed foods also contain high sodium levels. Before buying processed foods, be sure to check their sodium levels on the back of the packaging. Generally speaking, high sodium foods are foods that contain more than 400 milligrams of sodium per serving.
- Eat High Potassium Foods – Potassium helps to negate the adverse effects of sodium on kidney function. Potassium rich foods include avocados, bananas, and leafy greens, such as spinach. Dairy is also a great source of potassium. Generally, fresh fruit and vegetables are high in potassium, and can help to offset the negative effects of processed sodium.
- Meditate – Long-term stress has been shown to increase blood pressure, so any activity that can be done to decrease stress is a positive step toward lowering and maintaining a healthy blood pressure level. Consistent meditation has been proven to reduce overall stress levels, and is a great way to calm your heart rate. There are plenty of meditation phone apps that make it easier than ever to incorporate guided meditation into your daily routine, including as you go to sleep.
- Eat Dark Chocolate – Though it is important not to go overboard on this one (as it is relatively high in calories), eating dark chocolate is perhaps the most fun step that one can take towards lowering blood pressure level. Dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa powder has been shown to reduce blood pressure levels, as it helps to dilate the body’s blood vessels.
We hope that these tips help you to reach your heart health goals! And, if you would like an easy and reliable way to keep tabs on your progress, be sure to check out our digital blood pressure monitor, which allows you to save your results to measure your progress over time!