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Health and Fitness News

Stay in the Safe Zone

Lower blood pressure the natural way.

High blood pressure isn’t called a silent killer for no reason. When the force of your blood against the blood vessels is too high, it can damage blood vessels and organs. This happens quietly, often causing no problems. As a result, many people don’t even know they have high blood pressure.

When this happens, years can pass before symptoms are detected. Unfortunately, the longer you have uncontrolled high blood pressure, the more damage it can do. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, puts you at risk for heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, heart failure, kidney problems, vision loss, memory problems, and dementia. This is one reason why it’s so important to have regular health check-ups.

A healthy blood pressure reading is below 120/80 mm/Hg. A reading higher than 120/80 means it’s time to take steps to bring your numbers back into a safe zone. Unless you have extremely high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes as a first line of treatment. If these methods work, then you may avoid medications that come with potential negative side effects.

Here are four tried and true ways to lower blood pressure the natural way.

Run to the DASH Diet

Diet plays a major role in regulating blood pressure and keeping your circulatory system functioning strong. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is a proven way to treat high blood pressure. Blood pressure is affected by key minerals in your diet, including sodium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. By decreasing your intake of sodium and increasing the other vital nutrients, you can lower your blood pressure numbers.

On the DASH diet, you’ll eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy and moderate amounts of poultry, fish, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and healthy fats. Red meats, sweets, and unhealthy fats are allowed occasionally. The main goal of the DASH diet is to cut back on sodium.

Lose Weight

The more you weigh, the greater your risk for high blood pressure. Losing weight, therefore, is one of the best ways to bring your numbers back into a safe zone. You may be 50 pounds overweight, but the good news is that you don’t have to lose 50 pounds overnight to lower your numbers. Losing just 10 pounds, one at a time, can make a big difference. And don’t get on some fad diet hoping for lasting results. Healthy, long-term weight loss is accomplished through a combination of diet and exercise. If you want a special diet plan, opt for the DASH diet to lose weight and further lower your blood pressure.

Get More Active

Exercise is another effective way to lower blood pressure. No matter how active you are now, find ways to be more active throughout the day. Take the stairs, walk during your lunch break, or do bodyweight exercises while you watch TV. Then, commit yourself to never missing another appointment with your trainer. Shoot for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise each week. Find an exercise you enjoy and make it part of your everyday schedule. For complete fitness, include cardio, strength training, and flexibility exercises.

Drink Less Alcohol

It’s unknown why alcohol increases blood pressure, but it does. More than three drinks at a time increases your blood pressure for a short period, but heavy drinking over time leads to chronic high blood pressure, weight gain, and liver damage. Alcohol can also lessen the effectiveness of blood pressure medication or increase its side effects. To avoid these problems, women should consume no more than one drink a day and men no more than two.

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