Matters of the Heart

Matters of the Heart

If you’re one of the six million Canadian adults (approximately one in every 5) who suffers from high blood pressure, the bad news is high blood pressure can be a serious warning sign of something ominous to come, like a heart attack or stroke!

The good news is that high blood pressure can often be reduced, and many times without the need for medication, just by following some simple, easy steps.

Here are a few tips you can use to bring down your blood pressure.

This one is probably obvious but keeping your weight down is one easy way to keep your blood pressure in check.

Obesity causes poor circulation, stress on the joints and bone structure, and stress on your heart, which can make high blood pressure symptoms worse!

And yes, you’ve likely heard this one before too, get some exercise!

No need to sign up for that half marathon or dust off your old hockey gear, a half hour of minimum moderation physical activity five days a week, like walking or even doing chores around the house, can do a world of good for your circulation. Better circulation means better blood pressure.

Oh yeah… it will make you feel good too!

A healthy diet is also important. The Mayo Clinic recommends a DASH-approved diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). This means three meals a day and two to three snacks, with fibre-rich vegetables and small portions of lean proteins.

You can find out more about DASH diets at the Mayo Clinic by visiting http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/high-blood-pressure/art-20046974

Another tip for reducing blood pressure is reducing your sodium intake.

Even reducing just a little salt from your diet can work wonders to help reduce blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 1,500 mg of sodium a day!

Three guesses as to the last tip (but, you’ll probably only need one) – Reduce and manage your stress!

Stress is a killer! Remember the old saying about taking time to smell the roses? Whoever made up that saying probably had low blood pressure because finding time to relax and ways to manage stress can literally be a life-saver!

Meditation and deep breathing exercises can be particularly useful if you work in a high stress job.

Finally, consider purchasing a portable blood pressure monitor. Having a portable blood pressure monitor handy and checking your blood pressure regularly can help you keep track of your blood pressure and detect any changes!

Cooper Medical Supplies carries one of the leading brands of blood pressure monitors by Life Source. You can check out Life Source monitors online at http://www.lifesourcecanada.com.

It’s important to point out, blood pressure can go up and down depending on a variety of factors, from your level of exertion to whether or not your body is battling an illness. So don’t panic if your blood pressure is suddenly moderately higher than normal. Wait, rest and take it again later, then compare the results.

And always remember, when in doubt consult a physician!