If you have high blood pressure, you’re not alone. In England, the condition is experienced by 31% of men and 26% of women. If unmanaged, high blood pressure – also known as hypertension – can place extra strain on your heart and arteries, leading to a range of health problems.
But there’s good news, too: high blood pressure is one of the most common health conditions and one of the most preventable and treatable. In fact, according to Public Health England, every 10 mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure reduces the risk of major cardiovascular events by 20%.
Whether you’re reading up after a new diagnosis or you’ve decided now is the time to start taking better care of your health, we’re glad you’ve found us. In this article we look at the main things you can do to reduce your blood pressure safely at home, plus give links to lots more tips for lowering blood pressure in our resource hub. Let’s go.
The NHS recommends that adults should do at least 2.5 hours of exercise a week. A study even found that 30 minutes of exercise in the morning may be as effective as medication at lowering blood pressure for that day.
A moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling or swimming, is ideal. But if you hate the gym and you’ve never considered yourself a sporty person, don’t panic. Try these tips:
A healthy, balanced diet that’s low in sodium and high in potassium can lower blood pressure by helping to reduce the amount of fluid in the body, meaning the blood vessels can expand and contract more easily, which helps to lower blood pressure.
If you’re looking for some further reading, you’ll find plenty of articles in our Resource Hub, including an overview of the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, some
You probably already know that a diet that’s high in salt is bad news for your blood pressure. That’s because salt makes your body hold onto water. Eat too much of it, and the extra water in your blood increases the pressure on your blood vessels, raising your blood pressure.
Cutting down on salt is one of the easiest and quickest ways to lower your blood pressure. Try to:
If you drink, it’s important to do so in moderation. According to a 2006 study, alcohol can raise your blood pressure by 1mmHg for each 10g of alcohol consumed. One unit is the equivalent of 8g of alcohol.
Drinking too much alcohol too often has a number of detrimental effects on your health, including raising blood pressure above normal levels. Alcohol can make blood pressure medication less effective and is also linked to weight gain, another cause of high blood pressure. Our tips are:
Read more about alcohol and lowering blood pressure and learn the truth about drinking red wine to lower blood pressure.
Easier said than done, we know. But stress has several effects on the body, one of them being that
it contributes to surges in hormones, which can then increase blood pressure.
Different people find different ways to reduce stress – some prefer a relaxing activity like yoga or reading, and others find physical activity more effective. You could:
If your doctor has prescribed blood pressure medication, ensure you take the correct dose at the right time. Medications can help control hypertension by relaxing blood vessels, allowing blood to pass through more easily and relieving stress on your heart and organs.
There are many things you can do to reduce high blood pressure. But the only way to know whether lifestyle changes are having a positive effect on your blood pressure is to monitor it. Using a home blood pressure monitor regularly will help you understand what’s helping and what to avoid.