Want to lower your blood pressure? Believe it or not, one of the easiest ways to do that is by taking one one-mile walk a day and eating one less snack each day. I know it sounds simple, but it absolutely works. Here’s why…
- Physical activity helps to lower the levels of stress hormones circulating in your blood (stress tends to constrict arteries and drive up blood pressure).
- Exercise also helps you maintain a healthy weight—and being overweight significantly contributes to high blood pressure. The more weight you carry, the harder your heart has to work. When you’re overweight, your heart actually has to work harder to push your blood through the extra blood vessels needed to feed those extra pounds of fat. It’s like trying to battle your way through a subway station at rush hour.
That’s where the power of weight loss comes in. Losing just 10 pounds of weight is enough for most people to lower their blood pressure significantly. Walking just one mile a day, and eliminating just one 250 calorie snack a day from your diet, adds up to about one pound of weight loss a week—or 10 pounds over 10 weeks—practically effortlessly!
To help you get started, start walking, dancing, riding a stationary bike, swimming, or weightlifting.
The main thing to remember is that no matter what type of exercise you decide to do, stick with it. That’s because it’s not the type of exercises you do—but how often you do them. Consistency is the key to keeping your body and your blood pressure healthy.
Plus, here's a nutritional tip for lowering your blood pressure: Alternate 3 sardines and 3 celery stalks every other day. I contributed a Chapter on natural ways to lower your blood pressure in a textbook on integrative cardiology, as well as in my own book Eight Weeks to Lower Your Blood Pressure.