If your blood pressure is 140/90 or higher, you need to get it down! The good news is that many of the steps you can take are painless, and some are downright enjoyable.
You Will Need
* Potassium-rich foods
* Red wine
* A pedometer
* Dark chocolate
* A pet
Consume less sodium, which contributes to hypertension. It's not enough to just put away the saltshaker – check food labels as well. Many prepared foods, like canned soup and frozen meals, are loaded with sodium.
Eat more baked potatoes – with the skin – plus other potassium-rich foods like acorn squash, bananas, orange juice, and halibut. Dozens of studies prove that a potassium-rich diet helps combat the blood pressure-raising damage of a high sodium diet.
Drink one glass of red wine every day, but limit yourself to just one glass.
Lose weight if you need to. Obesity has been linked to hypertension. Track your steps with a pedometer. People who use them walk up to 2,000 steps more, which can help them reduce their weight and their blood pressure.
Get a pet. Not only does having one lower blood pressure, petting them has been shown to increase levels of the feel-good hormones dopamine and serotonin in their owners.
Eat some chocolate every day. The trick is to keep the portion small – say, bite-size – and make sure you're munching dark chocolate made mostly from cocoa solids. It should taste a little bitter.
Become more touchy-feely. Research indicates that people who hug and hold hands are calmer.
Start praying. One study found that people who attend weekly religious services have lower blood pressure than those who don't attend at all.
Fact: By 2025, 1.6 billion people worldwide are expected to have high blood pressure.