High blood pressure – three easy ways to lower your hypertension risk

High blood pressure affects more than 25 per cent of all UK adults.

The condition, which is also known as hypertension, puts extra pressure on blood vessels and vital organs.

Having high blood pressure increases the risk of some deadly complications, including heart attacks and stroke.

Making some small diet or exercises changes could lower the risk of high blood pressure, said the NHS.

These are just three ways to lower your risk of hypertension by changing your lifestyle.

Visit a sauna

Using a sauna could help to prevent high blood pressure, new research has revealed.

The heat could cause blood vessels to dilate, while reducing arterial stiffness, according to nutritionist Dr Sarah Brewer.

Visiting a sauna between two and three times a week could slash hypertension risk by about 17 per cent, she said on her website, MyLowerBloodPressure.com.

“Sauna bathing increases your natural production of nitric oxide which causes blood vessels to dilate so  blood pressure reduces,” said Brewer.

But, patients with uncontrolled hypertension should avoid using saunas, as they could increase blood pressure further, she warned. Only those on medication for hypertension should use a sauna, she said.

Adopt a cat

“Numerous studies show that owning a pet has beneficial effects on your blood pressure and reduces your risk of a heart attack or stroke,” said Brewer.

“While owning a dog motivates you to go for at least one daily walk, benefits are also seen from owning a cat, so it’s not all about the physical exercise.”

A US study of almost 1,200 people revealed people that owned a pet had a lower blood pressure by an average of 6.7/8.4mmHg.

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Pet owners are also 38 per cent less likely to have hypertension than non-pet owners, the study also claimed.

Having a pet could also boost your immunity, lower your stress levels, and lower the risk of a heart attack, it’s been claimed.

Give blood

Giving blood could lower your blood pressure, while also helping other people.

It reduces the amount of blood in the circulatory system, while also reducing its stickiness, said Brewer.

People that often give blood may also have lower levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol, she added.

“If you have high blood pressure, you can usually give blood if you are being managed on diet and lifestyle without medication, or if you have been on the same dose of the same medication for four weeks or more and feel fit and well,” said the nutritionist.

“When you make the appointment to give blood, let the staff know about any medications you are taking.”


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