High blood pressure, which is also called hypertension, is called the “silent killer” for a good reason. This condition often has no symptoms but is a major risk for heart disease as well as stroke.
Unfortunately, high blood pressure is so widespread these days that almost half all adults have it. While medication may be necessary, there are lifestyle habits which could help bring it under control, including eating most or all of your diet from plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains like oats, nuts, seeds and pretty much anything you can find in the produce aisle. You could also want to limit your intake of red meat, dairy and eggs.
If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you could be worried about taking medication in order to bring your blood pressure numbers down. Lifestyle plays a critically important role in handling your high blood pressure. If you effectively control your blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle, you could avoid, delay or reduce the need for medication.
Here are a number of the ways in which diet and exercise help to reduce high blood pressure.
Lose Extra Kilos And Watch Your Waistline
Blood pressure often rises as weight increases. Being overweight may also cause disrupted breathing while you sleep (sleep apnoea), which further raises your blood pressure.
Weight loss is one of the most efficient lifestyle changes for controlling blood pressure. Losing just a small amount of weight if you are overweight or obese may assist with reducing your blood pressure. In general, you could reduce your blood pressure by about 1 millimetre of mercury (mm Hg) with each kilogram of weight which you lose.
How Exercise Helps To Reduce Blood Pressure
Exercising regularly — such as 150 minutes a week, or about 30 minutes most days of the week — may lower your blood pressure by about between 5 and 8 mm Hg if you have high blood pressure. It is important to be consistent as if you stop exercising, your blood pressure could rise again.
If you have high blood pressure, exercise may help you avoid developing hypertension. If you already do have hypertension, regular physical activity may bring your blood pressure down to safer levels.
Some examples of aerobic exercise which you may try in order to lower blood pressure include:
- Swimming, or
Alternatively, you could also try high-intensity interval training that involves alternating short bursts of intense activity with recovery periods of lighter activity. Strength training may also help to reduce blood pressure. Have a goal to include strength training exercises at least two days a week. Talk to your doctor – as well as your personal trainer – about developing an exercise programme.
If you want to learn how to help people, with health conditions such as high blood pressure, then you should become a personal trainer and study our Personal Training Diploma. Follow this link to read more.