High blood pressure can adversely affect your organs, especially your heart and your kidneys – and it can rob you of years of life. Even if you’re a woman, you have just as great a risk of developing high blood pressure as a man does.
When it comes to improving your odds against getting hypertension, there are some things you just can’t change. For instance, some women get high blood pressure as they age, but you can’t roll back the clock and become younger.
You also can’t change your genetic markers. If you have a history of hypertension in family members due to hereditary factors, you can’t change that. But there are five things you can do to lower your blood pressure.
Healthy Habits to Lower Blood Pressure
First, you should have healthy habits in place. Eating healthy can lower your blood pressure. Your diet should consist of natural foods like fruits and vegetables and lean meats that are healthier for you.
Some foods can contribute to high blood pressure. Processed foods, red meats, and foods high in sugar can lead to high blood pressure. Having too many salty foods and adding a lot of salt to your diet can cause elevated blood pressure. Eating the wrong kinds of food can lead to unwanted weight gain, which in turn can also cause high blood pressure.
Consider cutting back on or stopping the consumption of alcohol. Alcohol raises blood pressure and so does smoking. If you can’t stop smoking on your own, get help from family members for support – or your doctor.
Lose Weight to Lower Blood Pressure
Second, you need to maintain a healthy body weight. For a woman, a healthy body weight can be determined by age, height and body frame. If you are significantly overweight and feel overwhelmed at the thought of losing, focus on a small portion of weight loss at a time. Aim for just a ten percent weight loss when you first start. Shedding even ten percent of your total body weight can lower your blood pressure.
Lower Blood Pressure Through Exercise
Third, exercise can lower your blood pressure and lessen how hard your heart has to work. Even if you absolutely hate the thought of exercise, there are still ways that you can get active doing things you enjoy.
If you like swimming, you can swim – and even though it’s a fun activity, it’s still exercise, so it’s helping lower your blood pressure. Engaging in games like tennis or badminton can lower your blood pressure just like jogging or an aerobic workout can.
Reduce Stress to Reduce High Blood Pressure
Fourth, to lower your blood pressure, lower your level of stress. High stress home or office situations or chronic worrying can raise your level. Change what you can that causes stress, but learn ways to manage stressful things that aren’t going to change.
Get Medical Help
Finally, if you’re eating right, have healthy habits in place, you’re maintaining your weight and avoiding stress but still have high blood pressure, then it’s time to get on prescription medication to bring the numbers down to a safe level for your body.
A diagnosis of high blood pressure doesn’t have to be seen as a death sentence. You do need to take it seriously though, and take the necessary steps to get your blood pressure down to a healthy level.