You can prevent high blood pressure and lower your odds of getting heart disease by making a few changes in your lifestyle. Follow these four tips:
1. Watch what you eat. Stay away from salt and saturated fats. Focus instead on foods that are high in fiber, calcium, and magnesium. A healthy diet consists of lots of fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.
Want to know exactly how much certain lifestyle changes can affect your blood pressure? Here, a look at the numbers.
The Change: Lose weight.
The Payoff: You’ll lower your systolic blood pressure (the first number in your blood pressure results) by 5 to 20 points for every 20 pounds you lose. In fact, if you're overweight, losing as little as 10 pounds can help lower blood pressure. The weight loss goal is to get your body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9.
The Change: Follow...
2. Get plenty of exercise. Regular aerobic workouts condition the heart and keep blood vessels working properly. It's also wise to be as active as possible throughout your day, apart from your workout.
3. If you’re overweight, try to trim down. Even shedding a few pounds can make a big difference.
4. If you smoke or drink a lot of alcohol, now’s the time to stop. Your doctor can give you advice about the most effective ways to do that.