Everyone knows high blood pressure is a killer. It’s the No. 1 cause of heart attacks in the United States, and the most important risk factor for strokes.
And we know it’s a bigger problem later in life, afflicting up to 65 percent of people 60 and over.
But do you know the best ways to help keep your blood pressure right where you and your doctor want it?
Here are the top five.
- Exercise regularly. Studies prove that strength training and aerobics workouts lower both numbers of your blood pressure – the systolic and diastolic. This is one more reason you need to be lifting weights, using resistance bands, or practicing yoga. Strength training equals life. It does not equal bodybuilding! And, of course, exercise is a great way to…
- Maintain a healthy weight. More than a quarter of people with high blood pressure are obese. Being overweight makes your heart work harder to pump blood through your body.
- Manage stress. Take time every day to purposefully calm down, sit still, and focus on your breathing. Get enough sleep. Enjoy the outdoors, the arts, and hobbies.
- Drink alcohol moderately if at all, and don’t smoke. The first part means no more than two drinks a day for me, and one for women. The second part means, Come on – are you kidding?
- Watch salt? Yes. But also sugar. Limit how much of both you put on foods. But remember that both salt and sugar are added heavily into our processed foods, so start reading labels and making your grocery choices accordingly.
Talk to your doctor about hypertension (another word for high blood pressure). We’re here to show you how exercise helps.
Holly Kouvo is a personal trainer, functional aging specialist, senior fitness specialist, brain health trainer, writer, and speaker.