Covid-19 poses a greater risk to those with co-morbidity diseases such as hypertension or diabetes. So on World Hypertension Day today, here are five simple actions you can take to help get your blood pressure back into the normal range.
1. Lose weight
The most effective means of reducing elevated blood pressure is to lose weight. It does not need to be a drastic weight loss. Doctors say losing as little as 5 kg can help lower your blood pressure.
2. Watch your sodium intake
The recommended amount of sodium for individuals with high blood pressure is 1,500 milligrams (mg) daily, which is just 3/4 of a teaspoon of salt. So it is important to read labels of canned or store-bought food to watch out for how much sodium you are consuming. The common foods where high amounts of sodium may be lurking are- bread and rolls, cold cuts and cured meats, pizza, poultry, soup and sandwiches.
3. Get moving
Get your body moving and put in a bit of exercise in your daily routine. Aim for a half-hour at least five days a week. You can go dancing, biking or taking brisk walks with a friend- whatever you feel like you can continue and not get bored of. Even everyday activities such as gardening can help.
After you feel ready to take the next step in your exercise regimen, add some weightlifting to help lose weight and stay fit. Women lose muscle mass steadily with age, and weightlifting is an often-overlooked part of an exercise plan for most women.
6. Relieve stress with daily meditation or deep breathing sessions
Stress hormones such as Cortisol constrict your blood vessels and can lead to temporary spikes in blood pressure. Also, stress can trigger unhealthy habits that put your cardiovascular health at risk over time. These might include overeating, poor sleep, and misusing drugs and alcohol. For all these reasons, reducing stress should be a priority if you're looking to lower your blood pressure.