A high blood pressure reading of 140/90 mm Hg, usually means that you have a higher risk of health complications like heart disease and stroke. Lowering your blood pressure by making changes to your diet and lifestyle can help you control your blood pressure without having to rely solely on medications to do the job for you. Consider the following to help improve your cardiovascular health and help you manage your blood pressure.
- If you're overweight, getting your weight to a healthy amount can help to keep your blood pressure in check. In most cases, the more weight you lose the lower your blood pressure will be. Even losing a small amount of weight can make a huge difference in the long run. Talk with your healthcare expert and get advice on an optimal target weight that will best suit your individual health needs.
- Exercise more and make more of an effort to lead an active lifestyle. Try walking more when you can and taking regular breaks during office work to get up and move around. Most health care experts suggest a minimum of half an hour of walking, or other physical activity five days a week to promote overall health.
- Consume less salt in your diet. Studies show that cutting even a little salt from your diet can help lower your blood pressure by as much as 8 mm Hg. Fast foods, pre-prepared foods, and packaged snacks are usually the highest in salt. Avoid having a sodium intake of more than 2,300 mg per day. If you are over 50 years of age you should consider taking no more than 1,500 mg each day.
- When it comes to alcohol, if at all, drink in moderation.
- Add more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet.
- Choose high fibre grains as opposed to processed. These are lower in calories and are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals.
- Limit your food portions. When it comes to losing weight, it's not just about changing the foods you eat, but also the amount. When you limit the size of the portions you eat, you take in fewer calories. At the same time, limit your portions of high-calorie foods like higher fat meats and carbs instead of fruits and veggies.