High blood pressure is not good for your heart and blood vessels. Sometimes medicines are necessary, but often you can also do something about it by adjusting your lifestyle. There is not one specific cause for high blood pressure. It is often a combination of heredity and lifestyle. Adjustments in your daily habits can thus help to lower blood pressure.
Lose weight and exercise
Overweight is the cause of one in five people with high blood pressure. According to government agency RIVM weight loss of one kilo already leads to a decrease of the top pressure of 1.6 mmHg and a decrease of 1.3 mmHg to the negative pressure. Sufficient exercise can also help lower blood pressure. This does not mean that you immediately have to go to the gym. More often a block around and shopping on the bike can make a lot of difference. According to the Exercise Standard, we should move for 30 minutes five days a week. Those accustomed to this can increase the movement a bit and occasionally make some more effort on, for example, the tennis court or in the swimming pool.
Moderate drinking can have benefits, but if you consume more than three alcoholic drinks per day, you increase your blood pressure and the risk of a heart attack. So look critically at what you drink exactly per day and make sure it stays within limits.
Smoking increases your blood pressure and a less flexible blood wall. Stopping smoking is always good for your health, but if you suffer from high blood pressure, you still have an extra reason. There are countless methods to stop. Choose a method that suits you well.
Salt has good qualities and is indispensable for your body. But too much salt leads to too much sodium in the body. Unfortunately, our diet often contains too much salt. The average salt intake in the Netherlands is around 10 to 12 grams. According to the Health Council, a salt intake of 6 grams (about 1 teaspoon) per day is the maximum.
Now that seems easy to turn back, just sprinkle less salt. But unfortunately three-quarters of the salt that you get in comes straight from bread, soup, sauces, ready-made meals, liquorice and meat products. Choose more often for low-salt products and leave the salt shaker in the cupboard. A little less salt can already provide a lot of health benefits.
Make sure you get enough potassium. Potassium is a substance found in many foods and helps your body to excrete excess sodium. This way it restores the natural balance in the body. Potassium is found in different vegetables, fruit and dairy products.