According to the Heart Foundation there are close to six million Australians aged 18 years and over with high blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure can lead to a higher risk of having a stroke or heart attack, but there are gradual lifestyle changes you can make to keep your blood pressure within a range that’s right for you.
Regular physical activity makes your heart stronger, allowing it to pump more blood with less effort. Exercising on a regular basis can not only help to keep your blood pressure within a healthy range, but can also help you manage your weight and lower your stress levels. Finding a form of exercise that you enjoy is the most important factor as you’ll be more motivated to keep up with a routine.
Reduce your sodium intake
The recommended amount of sodium is 2000mg which rounds out to less than a teaspoon of salt. A diet high in salt can lead to hypertension which can result in heart disease and stroke.
Easy ways to cut back on your salt intake are reducing the amount you use when cooking or seasoning your food. When food shopping, always read the labels and try to choose products with 120mg of sodium or less per 100g. Foods that are usually high in salt include cereals, condiments, processed frozen food and deli meats.
Stress is another factor influencing blood pressure levels. Your body produces a surge of hormones when you’re in a stressful situation, causing blood pressure to spike. Ways to reduce stress include gentle exercises such as yoga and meditation, getting plenty of sleep and reorganising your schedule to allow for more downtime in your routine.
Visit your local Blooms The Chemist for a quick and easy Blood Pressure Evaluation. This free simple test takes just a few minutes and can provide a quick health snapshot. Your Pharmacist can provide helpful advice on maintaining optimal blood pressure and any further lifestyle, product or service recommendations.