Are you aware that one in three adults in the US has high blood pressure? This is a health concern that, in my opinion, warrants us paying much closer attention to because, if left unnoticed and untreated, it can have devastating results on our health and quality of life. Are you also aware that high blood pressure is also commonly referred to as the “silent killer,” because it doesn’t always present with glaringly obvious symptoms? That is a very scary statistic, again in my opinion.
So is there anything that can be done about it? Well, if you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure or elevated blood pressure by your doctor, it is IMPERATIVE that you continue to not only keep up with your regular check ups, but also follow the medically prescribed protocol that they have outlined for you and speak up when things are not going well, or seem to have changed for no apparent reason. But outside of and in conjunction with your doctor’s recommendations, what else can be done at home to help support and sustain a healthy and more balanced blood pressure. Below are a couple things you may want to discuss with your doctor and as part of creating a more healthy lifestyle to support healthy blood pressure. And even if you do not have high blood pressure but it’s something that you want to reduce your risk of developing, there is no reason for you to not take these healthy living suggestions and begin incorporating them into your current lifestyle to develop some excellent healthy living behaviors.
If you lead a largely sedentary life, you really are not doing yourself any favors. Your body is meant to “move.” In fact your body loves it! I’m not suggesting you need to begin training like an Olympic athlete or find time to schedule in 2 hour long sessions at the gym. What I’m suggesting is, if you are not intentionally engaging in some form of physical exercise daily, then start! Find something you like to do, and it does not have to be overly strenuous. An early morning walk around your neighborhood before your day gets hectic, a bike ride, swimming, a fitness class doing something that you enjoy, a walk in the evening . . . whatever you enjoy and that you will be consistent at, just do it. And start today.
Lose The Extra Pounds
If you are carrying around some excess body fat that has you in the category of overweight or obese, you are at risk for a lot more health issues besides elevated/high blood pressure. If you’ve tried to lose weight but failed and only ended up frustrated, then get some help. See a nutritionist to get your eating in check, start exercising regularly, and most importantly . . . stick with it. Losing excess body fat and getting your weight down to within a healthy range will be beneficial to supporting a healthier blood pressure measure.
Eat More Potassium & Less Sodium
Most of us unknowingly consume way more sodium daily than we need or should have. And www.unlockyourbodyinnercircle.com 21 most of us are also very much aware that too much sodium is simply just not good for us. So put down the salt shaker and try experimenting with herbs and spices to add flavor to your meals and snacks. 4. Cut Back On Sugar & Refined Carbohydrates. This one is quite simple in principle. Most of us are aware of what healthy food is versus less healthy food. The problem for many of us though, is that the stuff that is less healthy not only tastes really good, but it’s usually very quick and easy to prepare. However, in an effort to support a normal blood pressure choose low sugar/sugar free and whole-grain options when making food choices.
I’m sorry, but I’m quite adamant on the issue of smoking. I have empathy for people who struggle with this addictive habit because I’m sure it’s incredibly difficult at times to kick it, however . . . you owe it to yourself, to your family and to everyone who loves you to make choices that are going to keep you healthy and alive. Talk to your doctor and research what options are available to help you quit this life-threatening habit . . . and quit!
Manage Your Stress Better
Look, life comes with stress . . . it’s unavoidable. However, HOW you choose to deal with and manage your stress can be crucial as far as its impact on your health and wellbeing. If you are someone under a lot of stress, consistent and continuous stress, or you just do not cope well with stress at all, then find ways to cope and manage it better. Yoga, meditation, a daily walk, www.unlockyourbodyinnercircle.com 22 short mid-day break with all your technology shut off, phone apps that play soothing sounds, regular exercise . . . there are many, many ways to deal with stress so that it has a less negative impact on your health. Find one that works for you and start incorporating it into your daily routine.
Get Your ZZZ’s
Quality rest is important for your optimal state of well-being overall, and when we are sleeping, our blood pressure typically drops a bit. If you are not getting a solid and restful night’s sleep, it can affect your blood pressure.
Alcohol can raise your blood pressure to an unhealthy level and if this is a habit or addiction, the consistent, long term overconsumption of alcohol can lead to increased risks associated with high blood pressure. If you are a drinker, you have to be brutally honest with yourself here, cut back www.unlockyourbodyinnercircle.com 23 or cut back a lot!
Reduce Caffeine Consumption
Caffeine does raise your blood pressure temporarily which, for many of us, is not such big deal or problem. However, if coffee is your “socially acceptable addiction” and you are working at lowering blood pressure it may be very wise on your part to cut back in an effort to have a greater impact on that happening.
So . . . are you ready? Great . . . make that doctors appointment, discuss these suggestions with him/ her and start today to make improvements in your lifestyle that will benefit you for years to come.