Most of us over the age of forty have had some experience with high blood pressure. There are a variety of factors, and many show up as we hit middle age. Here are some tips:
Food/Drink: What you eat and drink has a direct relationship on pressure readings. Alcohol and caffeine can make it go up, so avoiding these beverages can reduce your risks. On the other hand, garlic and chocolate can help it go down. Most of the women I know really like that last part.
Stress: This is a big risk factor, but you can tame it. Breathing correctly is one method. You can also use deep breathing techniques like that taught to pregnant women. Visualization is another tip to keep stress from raising your blood pressure.
Weight: If you’re overweight, chances are good your numbers are high. While it’s a lot easier to write than do, losing even a few pounds can make a significant impact on your numbers. Something as simple as adding more water and less designer coffee may help in this area.
Exercise: This isn’t just for weight loss. Physical activity can loose endorphins, the hormones that cause “the runner’s high.” This helps reduce physical and mental stress, and lower your blood pressure.
Do note that it won’t happen right away, and definitely not during exercise. Blood pressure is likely to go up, as the heart has to work harder to keep up.
Supplements: Garlic is a good supplement to help in the fight against high blood pressure. Studies indicate that it can help lower your numbers. If you are on any medications or have any medical conditions, talk to your doctor before adding garlic or any other supplement to your regimen. That will help you avoid side effects and herb/drug interactions.
Creativity: Cooking, sewing, artwork, woodwork, any form of creativity can help lower your numbers. Perhaps it is due to stress release, but the happiness that comes from successfully finishing a project is definitely part of it.
Watch the Medications: This is something that is usually caught at the pharmacy…but only if you use the same pharmacy for all your prescriptions. Some medications can cause blood pressure to go up. Others will do so if mixed. In order to prevent this from happening, make sure your pharmacist knows *everything* you take.
Also, read the information that comes with every prescription and most over the counter medications. Some of the simplest mixtures can create big problems.
You can be a partner in an effort to keep your blood pressure under control. With the help of your doctor, the dangerous events that high blood pressure can cause may not be a problem for you.