High blood pressure: Lifestyle changes to reduce reading
“As we get older, we become more vulnerable to certain health conditions like high blood pressure, which often have very few symptoms,” said Nevinson.
The Boots’ superintendent pharmacist added: “The only way to find out if your blood pressure is high is to have it checked.”
One of the most helpful figures you will need to know is your blood pressure reading and waist circumference.
“They can help indicate if you are at increased risk of certain health conditions,” said Nevinson.
At Boots, over 1,000 stores in England are offering free health MOTs for people over the age of 40 who are yet to be diagnosed with high blood pressure.
Nevison said: “Through the free health MOT, we’ve been able to provide healthy lifestyle advice and, when required, refer many patients with high blood pressure onto their GP for appropriate treatment.”
If the measurements are going in an unhealthy direction, it might encourage you to take the necessary steps to make healthier lifestyle choices.
One tip from Nevison, if you want to lower your blood pressure reading, is to exercise regularly.
Nevison said: “In later life, muscle mass can start to decline between 30-50 percent.
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“Therefore, maintaining exercise is important for overall health, especially as we age.”
Nevison added: “Regular exercise of at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week, including some weight training, can be a great way to help maintain muscle strength, as well as helping to improve sleep quality, reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and type 2 diabetes, and ease joint pain.
“If you have not exercised for a long period of time or if you have an existing medical condition, do speak to your GP before starting any new forms of exercise.”
Another way to take control of your blood pressure is to eat a balanced and varied diet.
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“In order to support a healthy lifestyle, a balanced and varied diet should provide all the nutrients your body requires,” said Nevison.
“If you are struggling, you could consider taking a multivitamin to help supplement your diet.”
A healthy gut is also paramount, which requires eating “plenty of fibre”, such as:
- Wholemeal bread
- Brown rice
- Gut-friendly supplement.
Nevison also advises against the overconsumption of alcohol, which is the equivalent of 14 units or more.
“Consuming more than this can have serious health consequences on our bodies,” cautioned Nevison.
“To limit your alcohol intake, it can help to track your drinking by using tools such as the Drink Aware app and having several drink-free days each week.”
Nevison stressed early detection and treatment of high blood pressure are key in preventing serious health risks from occurring.
4 ways to reduce your risk of high blood pressure complications:
- Get your numbers checked
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a balanced, varied diet
- Reduce alcohol consumption.
The health MOT includes the NHS Blood Pressure Check Service with an optional BMI and waist circumference measurement, alongside personalised lifestyle advice and, if required, referral to the GP.
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