As a short follow-up to the article on the relation between neck injury and high blood pressure, this article summarizes some treatment tips to lower blood pressure. A blood pressure level of 140/90 mmHg or higher is considered high. About two-thirds
of people over age 65 have high blood pressure. There are of course efficient medications as well but these tips focus on what you can do right now and they will also have positive effects on your general condition. The boring thing is that there is no simple solution and most tips revolve around a lifestyle change in diet and exercise.
Eat less salt and sodium
Salt contains sodium. The human requirement for sodium in the diet is about 500 mg per day. Most people consume far more sodium than is physiologically needed. For certain people with salt-sensitive blood pressure, this extra intake may cause a negative effect on health. So, switch to a mineral based salt (which often contain less sodium but still tastes “salty”), be restrictive with extra seasoning in restaurants and pre-canned foods. Eat more fruit and vegetables.
Lower your weight
Being overweight increases your risk of high blood pressure. In fact, your blood pressure rises as your body weight increases. Losing even 10 pounds (4.5 kg) can lower your blood pressure and losing weight has the biggest effect on those who are overweight and already have hypertension. A combination of less calories/carbon hydrates (sugar etc) and exercise is one of the fastest way to loose weight.
Be pysically active
This is of course important in any healthy lifestyle, but may be the hardest to start with for many people, especially if you are overweight. Increase exercise gradually. Start by walking a part of your daily transportation routine. If you are taking the car to work, park two blocks away, if you go by bus, get off on a stop earlier and walk the remainder. Gradually increase walking speed.
Tips are based on the recommendation from the National Institutes of Health’s Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure.
Picture by david.