High blood pressure often has no symptoms but is one of the most significant risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Blood pressure is determined by how your heart pumps your blood. If you have narrowed arteries, your blood pressure rises because it has to work harder to keep the blood moving.
The good news is lifestyle changes are an effective way to lower your blood pressure. In some cases, it works as well as blood pressure medication. Check out your risk factors and learn the low-pressure ways to lower your blood pressure.
Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure
There are hereditary, physical, and lifestyle risk factors when it comes to blood pressure. Having close relatives with high blood pressure raises your risk. So does your age—as you get older, your risk goes up.
Physical risk factors include lack of physical activity, poor diet, being overweight, excessive drinking, smoking, and unmanaged stress. Kidney disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, and sometimes pregnancy can contribute to high blood pressure as well.
Why You Need to Get Control of Your Blood Pressure
Even though you can’t see the damage high blood pressure causes, it’s a very serious condition that can threaten your life. Over time, it damages your blood vessels and puts most of your body at risk of disease.
The dangers of high blood pressure are heart attack and heart failure, stroke, aneurysm, kidney disease and kidney failure, and vision loss or blindness. With so much at stake, it’s necessary to get your pressure down. Thankfully, you can lower your blood pressure with simple changes.
Try These Tips to Lower Your Blood Pressure
- Be flexible. Yoga is proven to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and promote weight loss.
- Pump Yourself Up. Cardio is essential for weight loss, but to boost your metabolism, start lifting weights.
- Act a little fishy. Swap out red meat for omega-3 rich fish like salmon, mackerel, and lake trout three times a week. Omega-3 reduces inflammation in your blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.
- Don’t be salty about it. Salt is known to raise blood pressure, so reducing your sodium intake is essential. But cutting back on salt doesn’t mean a flavorless life. Try cinnamon, garlic, cumin, ginger, and basil.
- Lower your glass. Alcohol raises blood pressure, so cut back to one drink per day.
- Test the waters. Dehydration changes the way blood circulates, so aim for 64-96 oz. of water a day. Some people find they can drink more water if they use a straw.
Keeping your blood pressure under control prevents further health complications. Whether it’s lifestyle changes alone or a combination of lifestyle changes and medical interventions, it’s essential to work with your doctors to design a program to lower your blood pressure. The team at Epic Heart And Vascular Center can help. Contact us today!