Keeping Blood Pressure Healthy
Stress and Blood Pressureblood pressure because stress elevates levels of corticosteroids, the “stress hormones.” Corticosteroids are powerful substances that have a number of effects on the body—elevating blood pressure is one of them.
Plus, if you’re suffer from constant, unmanaged stress you may drink too much alcohol, eat poorly, avoid exercise, or forget to check blood pressure levels. READ MORE
Studies show that stress management
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces blood sugar levels
- Helps depression and anxiety
There are many ways to reduce stress:
- Take up a new hobby or interest
- Find new ways to approach problems
- Meditate, do yoga or t’ai chi, exercise
- Do volunteer work to put your problems in perspective
- Make sure to spend some time every day doing something you really enjoy, like gardening or reading
Lose Weight to Lower PressureBeing overweight or obese doesn’t just raise your chances of developing hypertension. It also makes hypertension worse: as your body weight increases, your blood pressure goes up, too.
Fortunately, this works both ways. As you lose weight, your blood pressure goes down. Losing as little as 5 lbs can reduce hypertension. And the more weight you lose, the lower your blood pressure can go. In one study of over 1,200 people, those who lost 10 lbs (4.5 kg) or more had reductions in diastolic and systolic blood pressure of, on average, 5.0 mm Hg and 7.0 mm Hg. READ MORE
More good reasons to lose that excess fat: getting down to a normal weight greatly reduces the chances that you will develop high blood cholesterol and diabetes, both of which can lead to heart disease. LESS
Get Enough SleepNot getting enough sleep is linked to hypertension. In a recent study, both systolic and diastolic blood pressure were higher in people who slept less than 8 hours a night. The exact reasons for the link between lack of sleep and hypertension remain, as yet, unknown.
It is known that sleep deprivation is associated with increased activity in the sympathetic nervous system, which controls the body’s stress response. Sleep helps to regulate stress hormones and maintains the health of the nervous system. It’s possible that, over time, stress hormones that are unregulated due to lack of sleep could contribute to high blood pressure.
If you don’t get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, make an effort to do so. You may well find that, in time, getting enough sleep makes a noticeable difference in your blood pressure.