Blood pressure is the silent killer for many 40+ people in Australia, where it can cause multiple issues and even premature death. High blood pressure is becoming more prevalent than ever before, but can be so easily controlled and managed. Implement these 5 tips to help lower your blood pressure and add years to your life!
- Exercise regularly. Research shows a mix of low-moderate, high intensity, resistance and mobility training together will all decrease the risk of high blood pressure. Healthy exercise habits not only strengthen the heart, but also make the heart more efficient.
- Eat less salt. Salt makes our body hold more water and therefore have a higher volume of blood. This increased volume of blood means the heart has to work harder (higher pressure) to push the extra fluid around. Aim to keep your sodium intake between 1500-2300 mg per day.
- Eat more potassium. Potassium acts in the body to reduce the effects of sodium and regulate heart rate. By decreasing salt and increasing potassium, your function will be optimal. Examples of foods high in potassium include spinach, avocado, sweet potato and Bok choy.
- Reduce alcohol intake. Regular overdrinking has a variety of health implications, but blood pressure increases are among the most common. Alcohol is a toxin to our body, meaning the heart has to pump blood around faster and harder than normal in an effort to clear the toxins from the body.
- Reduce your stress. Cortisol, or the "stress hormone" is a major contributor to blood pressure. You may feel a tightness in your chest and racing heart when under acute amounts of stress, this is a physical reaction to cortisol racing through the body. Having this for an extended or chronic period of time means the heart will be under strain ongoing and therefore have ongoing issues.