Keeping your blood pressure under control is one of the most important things you can do for your health.  High blood pressure increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke.

Risk factors for high blood pressure include a lack of physical activity, insufficient mineral intake from whole natural foods, and poor sleep.

May is blood pressure awareness month, so it’s the perfect time to highlight three things you can do to keep your blood pressure in check naturally:

  1. Move your body! Exercising and simply being active during the day have been shown to significantly lower blood pressure. Lack of exercise increases the risk of being overweight, which is another risk factor for high blood pressure.  Enroll in one of our many exercise classes or give the weight machine circuit a try!
  2. Mind your minerals! According to Harvard Medical School, calcium, magnesium, and potassium play key roles in blood pressure control. Calcium-rich foods include milk, yogurt, cheese, broccoli, kale, spinach, and canned salmon with bones.  Top magnesium foods include pumpkin seeds, almonds, spinach, cashews, black beans, dark chocolate, peanut butter, avocado, potatoes, and yogurt (watch the sugar!).  For a good punch of potassium try potatoes, legumes, prunes, apricots, seafood, tomatoes, bananas, cantaloupe, oranges and avocado.
  3. Savor your sleep!  Both too little sleep and poor quality sleep increase your risk for high blood pressure.  See your doctor if you suspect sleep apnea because correcting it has been shown to reduce blood pressure. If you struggle with sleep, experiment with deep breathing and/or meditation, which can both be effective for lowering blood pressure.

Diet, exercise, and good quality sleep are just a few pieces of the health puzzle.  See your doctor regularly for blood pressure readings to keep your blood pressure in check!