Change your lifestyle

Healthy lifestyle changes are an important first step for lowering bloodpressure. Often this makes it possible to treat the hypertension without the need to take medication. Also diebates may 'disappear' when people make important changes, giving them a healthy lifestyle.

Do you have a healthy lifestyle ?

Smoking can add 10 points to your blood pressure, because it narrows your blood vessels. So giving up smoking is a first good step. Ask us for help.

If you are iverweight, losing some weight, even a couple of kilograms, may help you to bring your blood pressure down. If you are being treated for high blood pressure, losing weight may make the treatment work better and reduce how much medication you need.

Eating a low fat diet that includes lots of fruit and vegetables may help lower your blood pressure. And if can also cut down on the salt in your diet, you may lower your blood pressure even further.

A low fat diet has been shown to lower blood pressure. on this diet you eat less saturated fat (butter, meat, cheese, and cream), lots of fruit and vegetables and small amounts of dairy products. you eat wholegrain products (such as brown rice and wholemeal bread), fish, poultry and nuts. you avoid red meat, sweets and sugary drinks.

Most of us eat more salt than we need. A low-salt diet means eating less than 6 grams of salt per day. this is about 1 teaspoon. lots of processed food such as bread and breakfast cereal contain a lot of salt. Check on the labels to find out. Icecream is extremely rich in salt too.

There is a good chance that taking some exercise (such as walking, jogging or cycling) at least three times per week will help lower your blood pressure. You need to exercise regularly to keep your bloodpressure down. If you stop exercising, it may rise again.

I recommend that younger, fit people should do three sessions of exercise a week where they can feel their heart beating faster (such as jogging). this is what we call vigorous exercise. Older people should aim for 20 minutres of exercise per day, say by walking briskly.

If you drink a lot of alcohol, cutting down on alcohol can reduce your blood pressure. this means cutting back to the recommended limit of three or four units of alcohol a day for men or two to three units a day for women (corresponding with around 2 glasses of wine).

Stress increase our bloodpressure significantly. if we are exposed to ongoing stress, for example because of problems at work, worries at home or school, then the increased blood pressure that comes with that will have its damaging effects and worsens a maybe already existent tendency for high blood pressure. Try, if at all possible, to eliminate the stress factor or at least seek regular relaxation, for example by listening to music, doing yoga or learn to apply meditation or Reiki.

I know this all does not sound like a lot of fun, but it is all a matter of common sense. Nobody is surprised to be told that being overweight, an inactive lifestyle and smoking and drinking are not good for your health. We are not talking little health risk here, but the often fatal or otherwise debilitating consequences of stroke and heart attacks.