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Exercise and losing weight are two things that can be done to naturally treat hypertension. Recently, new guidelines were released that highlight the importance of exercise in reducing high blood pressure.
Exercising for 30 minutes at moderate intensity to get your heart pumping up to 70 to 85 per cent of your maximal rate on most, or preferably all, days of the week is recommended for people with hypertension. The 30 minutes of exercise can be at once, or accumulated throughout the day – such as in three 10-minute walks.
Exercise can also help reduce the need for high blood pressure medication, and keep your blood pressure at a desirable level – less than 120/80 mm Hg – as you age.
Improving your diet can also reduce your blood pressure and risk of stroke, coronary heart disease and heart attack.
Restrict your sodium intake to 1.5 g/day (about 1 teaspoon). This will generally lower a person’s blood pressure, regardless of whether he is suffering from hypertension or not. It can also help keep your blood pressure in check as you grow older, and lower the risk of other health complications.
Eating about eight servings of fruits and vegetables daily increases potassium intake, which reduces blood pressure in hypertensive individuals. Also, limit your alcohol intake to two drinks a day because there is a dose-response relationship between alcohol and blood pressure.
If your high blood pressure persists after these lifestyle modifications, your doctor may recommend medication. The type of medication will depend on your age, race, risk factors, diabetes status and presence of heart diseases.
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