13th April 2024

How can your lifestyle raise your blood pressure?

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From 4-10 September 2023 is #KnowYourNumbers week. It is so important to regularly check blood pressure and this week’s theme is ‘Make the Time, Ease your Pressure’.

There are a number of changes which can make a dramatic difference to your blood pressure.

Eating too much salt

This can be one of the main causes of high blood pressure, so lowering your salt intake is one of the best ways to lower it. Most people don’t know how much salt they eat because it is in the foods we buy. Check food labels and find out how much salt is in products you buy. It is useful to taste your food before you add salt.


Smoking can raise raise your blood pressure, smoking speeds up the process of atherosclerosis, where fat clogs up your arteries. This can lead to strokes and heart attacks. Stopping smoking is one of the great for your health. Check about stopping smoking, maybe attend smoking cessation classes or ask for help from your local GP practice.

Being overweight

This is strongly linked with high blood pressure and a number of related health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Check your weight and find out if you are a healthy weight .There are some small changes you can make to help you lose weight if you need to. Eating from a smaller plate can be a starting point.

Drinking too much alcohol

Alcohol has a surprisingly big impact on blood pressure, it’s linked to a fifth of cases, and causes numerous other health problems. Find out if you’re drinking within the recommended limits and see how you can cut back without cutting alcohol out completely.

Fruit and vegetables – 5 a day

Eating fruit and vegetables (5 a day) can help reduce high blood pressure, weight gain, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Leafy greens is an example such as spinach may help to reduce high blood pressure also nuts and seeds.

Too much Fat and sugar

Having too much sugar and saturated fat in your food can lead to weight gain and raised blood cholesterol, raising your blood pressure, damaging your arteries and raising the risk of stroke and heart disease. It is always useful to check the traffic light labels on food.

Lack of exercise or physical activity

A third of men and half of women in England do less than the recommended 150 minutes per week of physical activity, and a lack of activity raises the risk of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes plus other health risks.

Walking instead of taking the car or a bus does help. Build up the time you are walking each day. Use the stairs rather than a lift. There are lots of ways to maintain a good level of activity and this helps your physical and mental health.

Here is a link for more details about blood pressure and tips to keep it at an acceptable level.