If you have mildly-elevated blood pressure, it is possible to normalise it naturally. The National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) Department of Cardiology, a member of the SingHealth group, shares how.
A healthy blood pressure reading should be lower than 120 (systolic)/80 (diastolic) mmHg. A blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg or higher indicates high blood pressure (hypertension).
1. Adopt a healthier diet
Avoid foods high in cholesterol and saturated fats such as:
- Animal fats
- Eggs (Health Promotion Board recommends consuming no more than 4 egg yolks per week)
- Red meat (e.g. beef and lamb)
- Coconut milk
- Palm oil
- Salty foods
Instead, consume more:
- Lean meats
- Low-fat dairy products
- Fruits and vegetables
2. Exercise more frequently
Being a 'weekend warrior' will not be effective. Get at least 150 minutes of physical activity every week, or at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity daily. If you find it difficult to jog or cycle, brisk walking is one of the best and simplest forms of exercise to pick up.
3. Watch your weight
It has been proven that maintaining a healthy body weight reduces the risk of high blood pressure.
4. Manage stress better
A healthy blood pressure can be achieved through good stress management. Effective ways to manage stress include:
- Exercising regularly
- Adopting a balanced approach to work and family life
- Relax whenever possible to ease tension, since stress can aggravate your blood pressure
5. Don't smoke
If you're still smoking, quit! Not only does smoking raise your blood pressure, it is also a risk factor for coronary artery disease and stroke.
If your numbers continue to rise
If your blood pressure level continues to rise, your doctor may put you on drug treatment, complemented by a healthy lifestyle. Treatment of hypertension for most is lifelong so regain control of your blood pressure while you still can!
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