Lowering your blood pressure

You should have your blood pressure tested at least every 2 years, because high blood pressure can lead to problems such as damaging your blood vessels. High blood pressure can increase your risk of heart disease, heart attack, developing kidney failure and stroke. Having your blood pressure checked takes only a few minutes and should there be a problem your doctor
can treat it and recommend changes to your lifestyle that you should follow. Here are some simple tips to making changes in your lifestyle to keep your blood pressure within a normal range.
Stop smoking
If you smoke then you should try to quit, when you inhale the smoke from cigarettes and other tobacco products, your blood vessels become restricted and you will have a faster heartbeat. If your heart beats faster than this causes a temporary rise in your blood pressure, by quitting smoking you not only help to lower your blood pressure but you also reduce the risk of heart disease and heart attack.
Lose weight
Losing weight and getting enough exercise can help towards keeping your blood pressure down. If you are carrying too much weight around your heart will have to work harder and faster and this can cause your blood pressure to rise which increases your chances of developing heart disease and stroke.
Limit your alcohol intake
Limiting the amount of alcohol you drink is also important, in some people alcohol raises their blood pressure by a lot, while others it doesn’t seem to affect as much. You should drink no more than 1 glass of wine per day or one can of beer and if your blood pressure does rise through drinking, then you should quit drinking altogether.
Avoid excessive sodium
Some people can be affected by sodium and it causes their blood pressure to rise. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure then it is important to reduce the amount of sodium in your diet. You shouldn’t add extra salt to your food and always check food labels for the amount of sodium foods contain.
Lower stress levels
If you live a very stressful life and easily become stressed then this can cause your blood pressure to rise, it is important to learn ways of dealing with stress and not let it build up. There are many self-help techniques that you can learn to help you combat stress, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga and visualization.
Blood pressure medication
If your doctor has diagnosed you as having high blood pressure then along with making changes to your lifestyle – the most effective way of dealing with it – they might also prescribe medication. There are many different types of medication used in the treatment of high blood pressure. In some cases, if your condition can only be controlled by medication, then it could mean that you have to take medication for the rest of your life to help keep your blood pressure under control. However the earlier you start making changes to your lifestyle towards leading a healthier life, through stopping smoking, getting enough exercise and eating healthy, the better your chances that you won’t need to be on medication for life.

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