Having your blood pressure checked is vital for identifying potential health risks – in lots of cases high blood pressure has no symptoms but it can lead to serious problems. All Lincolnshire Co-op pharmacies offer free blood pressure checks. It’s quick and easy and there’s no need to make an appointment, just pop in to your local branch.
If you have high blood pressure, don’t worry, there’s lots you can do to start lowering blood pressure today. But you don’t have to wait until you have high blood pressure to make healthy lifestyle changes – the more you can reduce your blood pressure, the lower your risk of a heart attack or stroke will be.
1.Eat less salt
Cutting your salt can dramatically improve your blood pressure. There is lots of hidden salt in prepared foods like bread, breakfast cereals and ready meals and very little of what we eat is down to what we add to our food. A good tip is to always check labels and choose low-salt options where possible.
2.Eat more fruit and veg
Everyone know fruit and vegetables are good for you and eating more can also help lower your blood pressure. Adults should eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. A portion is 80 grams, or roughly the size of your fist.
3.Keep your weight healthy
If you are overweight a good way to lower your blood pressure is by losing weight which will reduce your risk of health problems. Choose more low-fat and low-calorie foods, and increase your physical activity but be sure to set achievable goals and changes that you can keep to for life.
4.Drink less alcohol
We all enjoy a tipple but if you drink too much alcohol, over time this will raise your blood pressure. The current recommended limits are 21 units of alcohol a week for men, and 14 units a week for women. A unit is roughly half a pint of beer or cider, a small glass of wine, or a single pub measure of spirits.
At least 30 minutes of moderate activity five times a week is recommended to keep your heart healthy and it can also lower your blood pressure. You don’t have to run a marathon – anything that raises your heart rate and makes you feel slightly out of breath will do. Try making small changes too like walking to a further bus stop or taking the stairs instead of the lift.