High blood pressure can lead to a number of health issues including an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, eye problems, cognitive difficulties and osteoporosis.
How to help yourself
Medication may be necessary for some, but a great deal can be done to naturally lower your blood pressure with these simple tips.
1. If you are still a smoker then try cutting down and hopefully giving up as smoking can temporarily cause a spike in blood pressure. This is serious because such a sudden jump can damage blood vessel walls, and raise your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
2. You have heard it before, but really there is nothing better you can do for your health than to have some regular daily exercise. Research shows that regular aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, swimming and cycling, can reduce blood pressure but in fact anything you enjoy, such as dancing, is effective. It does not have to mean going to a gym, though that helps many, as long as it raises your heart rate and start with 30 minutes and very gradually increase that when you can.
It can help in two ways: first by keeping blood vessels flexible and secondly it will probably help you lose weight and keep it off. Having a sensible weight for your height and age is crucial to the success of any high blood pressure treatment plan.
3. Stress affects every area of your life from your hormones to your heart rate so cultivate ways to stay stay calm. Stress can raise blood pressure, while relaxation techniques such as breath work, yoga, tai chi or meditation have been shown to lower it.
Even sitting quietly listening to some music that is relaxing can be helpful so make a resolution to learn and practice a mind-body approach to dealing with your stress and you will see the benefit in so many areas of your life.
4. Back to basics again by looking at your lifestyle and diet. If you have a lot of stimulants such as caffeine or sugar or eat a lot of processed foods they all put a stress on your body and that increases your overall stress level. If you eat a healthy diet such as the Mediterranean diet, with plenty of fish, fruit and vegetables, olive oil, butter and hormone free meat then you are supporting your immune system, and your heart.
It is essential to have a good intake of the vital micronutrients, including calcium, magnesium and vitamin C, as they are all essential to maintain blood vessel tone and healthy circulation.
5. Ensure good hormone levels throughout menopause so you don’t have the effects of oestrogen dominance as that can increase your weight, and your stress levels. Progesterone can contribute to rebalancing your metabolism, and this can lead to weight loss.
In particular progesterone is known to be protective of the heart so ensuring you have good levels even post menopause will be helpful.
AnnA Rushton, Editor of Bio-Hormone-Health, has written a simple ebook on ways to control stress and you can find more information on it here below with useful articles that can also provide help for dealing high blood pressure.