Blood pressure is known for putting strain on blood vessels across the body. As soon as a blood vessel to the brain bursts or becomes blocked by a clot, a stroke occurs. Studies have shown that chronic high blood pressure is a risk factor for hemorrhagic stroke while the potential damage caused by high blood pressure does contribute to ischemic stroke. This is a major factor why you do not want your blood pressure to rise because lowering it reduces your risk for developing a stroke.
The following are some of the ways to reduce blood pressure:
1. Regular exercise:
At least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week can reduce your blood pressure by 4 to 9 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) but consistency is key because if you stop exercising, there is a tendency of your blood pressure rising again. Examples of the exercises suitable for this are walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or even dancing.
2. Be healthy with your diet:
Eating a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol can reduce your blood pressure by up to 14 mm Hg. That is, the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan should be practiced regularly.
3. Do away with alcohol:
Blood pressure can be raised by several points by drinking more than moderate amounts of alcohol. Also, it has the capacity of reducing the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.
4. Stop smoking:
For every cigarette you take, you increase your blood pressure for several minutes after you finish. By quitting smoking, your blood pressure comes back to normal. Regardless of your age, if you quit smoking, you have substantial increases in life expectancy.
5. Decrease your stress:
Stress contributes immensely to high blood pressure. Take your time to think about the reasons you feel stressed (possible reasons could be work, family, finances or even illness). The moment you know the reasons for your stress, consider how you can eliminate or reduce stress.