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Blood Pressure

A drug-free approach to lowering hypertension

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is quite a common condition, but this doesn’t mean it cannot be prevented or alleviated with a few simple steps. Blood pressure is the force of blood pressing against the walls of your arteries, so when it's very high, your heart will have to work harder, this can cause serious damage to your arteries, and over time, if uncontrolled, it can also affect your kidneys, as well as vision, and even memory. By adapting your lifestyle, you could avoid the serious problems that can come from high blood pressure. What are the symptoms? Often called a silent killer, hypertension doesn't always have outward symptoms, this means you can live with it for years and not know that it is slowly damaging your heart, lungs, brain, kidney and blood vessels if left untreated. Normal blood pressure readings will fall below 120/80 and your GP can help you understand your reading and suggest lifestyle changes to help get your numbers under control if needed. How to help control blood pressure today. • Sleep. People who sleep six hours or less may have steeper increases in blood pressure. It's thought that sleep helps your body control hormones needed to regulate stress and metabolism. • Exercise and daily routine Moderate physical activity such as walking effectively lowers blood pressure and is associated with numerous other health benefits. • Meditation The British Heart Foundation has shared studies that show that 15 minutes of meditation a day reduced the risk of death, heart attack, and stroke by 48% and a Stanford University study found that an eight­ week mindfulness course increased activity in areas of the prefrontal cortex that helps regulate emotions, subsequently reducing stress and heart disease. To help you get started with meditation, BHF has created a simple six minute meditation (below) to help you get started.


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