You’ve probably heard many times by now that you need to watch out for your blood pressure. It should be low, but not too low, and vice versa. You may recall at a doctor visit; your doctor reads out those two little numbers to you. Anything below 120/80 is considered healthy. However, for those of you that are used to hearing higher numbers, you may have hypertension (high blood pressure).
What is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure is also known as hypertension. It is what occurs when there are an excessive number of blockages in your arteries. These blockages prevent blood from being pumped through your body in an efficient manner.
Doctors say that any reading less than 120/80 is considered healthy. However, anything between 120/80 and 130/80 is prehypertension and anything 130/80 and above is the dreaded high blood pressure.
What causes high blood pressure?
High blood pressure is often the result of weight gain. Reason being weight gain requires the body to work harder to pump blood through your veins. This is the case even when you are sitting down or not overly physically active. Weight loss can drastically reduce hypertension as your body fat percentage is reduced. This frees up the space in your arteries, allowing blood to flow freely. Your body will be able to pump your blood with ease, which is the ultimate goal!
How to reduce high blood pressure?
There are a wide variety of ways that you can reduce your blood pressure. Let’s talk about the top 4.
1. Exercise regularly
The ideal first step in reducing blood pressure is to change your exercise habits. You should aim for at least 1 hour of vigorous physical activity per day. This does not have to be something extreme, but it should cause you to work up a sweat! Consider biking, jogging, swimming, or even Pilates/weightlifting!
2. Eat higher levels of potassium
Potassium is vital to having a healthy heart. This mineral reduces the effects of salt on the body and aids in reducing blood vessel tension. Add the following foods into your diet to increase potassium levels:
- Sweet potatoes
- Low fat dairy
3. Get on a good sleep schedule
Studies have shown that an inconsistent sleep schedule can lead to hypertension. Your body responds to stress in a wide variety of ways, but one of the most common results of this stress is high blood pressure. Getting your body on a consistent sleep schedule filled with high quality, restful sleep can make a world of difference in reducing blood pressure.
4. Consume foods high in protein
Foods that are high in protein are known to have a significant effect on reducing hypertension. Consuming foods like these is a great start:
Beans in particular are also high in fiber which can further aid in the reduction of blood pressure
Hypertension effects people of all ages, although it is significantly more likely in adulthood. Weight loss is the keyway to reduce your hypertension as it helps free up the blood vessels in the body. However, several other methods of reduction such as sleeping well and eating foods high in protein and potassium are also beneficial! WeightLoss-Solutions has a great online program that teaches you all about clean and healthy eating, nutrition, fitness, and the science behind how your body works and how you can use these tools to lose weight permanently.