Like cholesterol levels, blood pressure can be one of the risk factors of heart disease*. So if you’re lowering your cholesterol, it makes good sense to maintain a healthy blood pressure too. Here’s how to lower blood pressure levels naturally, in small ways that feel normal and simple to achieve.
First of all: what is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the pressure at which blood is pushed against the walls of the blood vessels – veins and arteries – as it is pumped round the body.
When is it time to find out how to lower your blood pressure?
Blood pressure is measured in two numbers, often written one on top of the other like a fraction. The first number describes the pressure of the blood when the heart is actively pumping it, and the second is the pressure of the blood when the heart is at rest. A desirable blood pressure, according to the NHS, is between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg.
How to lower blood pressure levels
Flora ProActiv products don’t lower blood pressure, but there’s no shortage of other things to try. There are lots of ways to lower blood pressure and have a healthy lifestyle overall, as well as plenty of resources available to help. Here are a few top tips to get you started:
- Exercise: Getting active is a great way to help maintain a healthy heart. The key is to find something you really enjoy, making it a pleasure to keep up rather than a chore. Try a range of activities until you find something that suits you.
- Maintain a healthy weight: A healthy, balanced diet and exercise can help with this. Find out what a healthy BMI is here.
- Get more sleep: If you sleep less than six hours a night, make getting a good night’s sleep a priority. Insufficient sleep puts stress on your body, which could increase the chance of getting raised blood pressure levels, so start getting early nights. If you have trouble going to sleep, try going for a quick walk before bed and avoiding caffeine in the afternoon. We also have some tips on how to sleep better here on the Flora ProActiv site.
- Skip on some bad habits: Avoid smoking and drinking in excess (more than 14 units a week), and cut down your caffeine to less than four cups a day.
- Get advice from a healthcare professional: If you’re wondering how to lower high blood pressure, talk to a healthcare professional as well. There’s a range of medications that might help, but making sure you’re getting the lifestyle factors right can go a long way too.
Maintaining a normal blood pressure level through diet
A key dietary change to make if you’d like to maintain a healthy blood pressure is to watch your salt intake. In the NHS guidelines on blood pressure, the recommendation is to have a healthy, balanced diet overall, and to limit salt intake to less than 6g a day. This is the equivalent of 2.4g a day of sodium.
We’re probably all aware of the amount of salt we add to our meals at dinner time, and if you add a lot you could start by reducing that – but a lot of the salt in our diets comes pre-added to foods we wouldn’t even think of as salty. Have a look at the back of packets when you’re buying to check out the salt content and if it’s high – over 1.5g salt (0.6g sodium) per 100g – give it a miss. Unexpected culprits include biscuits, cheese and bread.
If you’d like regular updates and tips on having a heart-friendly diet and lifestyle, why not try the Flora ProActiv e-newsletter? Sign up here for must-read articles, recipes, and offers in your inbox each month.
*High blood pressure is a risk factor of heart disease. There are multiple risk factors of heart disease and you may need to tackle all of them to reduce the overall risk of it. Flora ProActiv products are not designed to lower blood pressure levels.
*High cholesterol is a risk factor of heart disease. There are multiple risk factors of heart disease and you may need to tackle all of them to reduce the overall risk of it.