Drastic changes bring about immediate and drastic results. But most of us prefer to make simple changes that will yield long lasting results, especially when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle. For all intents and purposes, living a healthier life will yield a longer life span, and these simple steps towards a healthier life and lower blood pressure will help you reach your goal.
The first simple step to take is to de-stress. Stress leads to a variety of health problems including high blood pressure. Your body responds to stress by narrowing arteries which in turn causes blood pressure to rise.
Stress also causes the body to release it’s stress hormone, Cortisol, which causes increased abdominal fat, increased blood pressure and an increased risk if diabetes.
Symptoms of stress include depression, fatigue, anxiety, headaches, breathing difficulties, upset stomach and sudden weight loss or gain. To get rid of stress, start exercising and develop calming interests like reading or gardening.
Exercise Increases Longevity
Exercise does a body good and is a simple step towards a healthier life and lower blood pressure. A few minutes of daily walking (one of the simplest of exercises) will relieve stress, aid in weight loss, help ease arthritis pain, improve mood, help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Regular walking (or any other physical activity) makes your heart stronger. A stronger heart can pump more blood with less effort. Less effort means less force on arteries and lower blood pressure.
Exercise makes you feel good in mind and body due to the release of ‘feel good’ hormones called endorphins and serotonin. Both of which work to ease pain and lift the mood.
Eating the right kinds of foods will add years and vigor to your lifespan. Foods called ‘superfoods’ offer a variety of health benefits and taste good. Baked potatoes are one such superfood, providing low calorie potassium which helps lower blood pressure and prevents weight gain. Barley is rich in fiber which helps lower cholesterol and regulate blood pressure. Adding oats and any other whole grain to your daily diet will aid in weight loss by keeping you feeling fuller longer (causing you to eat less) and helping to lower cholesterol.
Make one simple food swap each day, like swapping one can of sugary soda for a bottle of water, and you’ll be taking simple steps towards living a healthier life.
Take Your Medication
If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure and have been prescribed medication to control it, take it. Take the medication faithfully exactly as prescribed. If you experience unwanted side effects or can no longer afford the drugs, talk to your primary care physician about alternative medicines, but don’t just stop taking the medicine altogether. Work with your physician to find a medicine and dosage amount that will work for you.
Take all medication as prescribed and ‘brown bag’ the medicines to your physician so he or she will know what you are taking and avoid possible drug interactions. This includes any supplements, some of which may even cause blood pressure to rise.
Evelyn Hughes writes about health, nutrition & her journey surviving a home equity mortgage.
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About the author: Owner of JamericanSpice. Sharing my journey in the present, from the past or thoughts for my future. Mom of two who loves to travel and read and decipher people. Please read my disclosure
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