High blood pressure isn’t something you can normally feel or notice, and it’s easy for the condition to go undiagnosed, according to the British Heart Foundation (BHF).
It’s important to get your blood pressure checked regularly, to catch the condition early, if it develops.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, increases the risk of coronary heart disease, strokes and kidney disease.
But, you could naturally lower your blood pressure by following these five steps.
Regular physical activity could help to lower your blood pressure, the charity said.
Exercise could range from intense sport, to simply going for a walk.
“Try to do some moderate-intensity activity every day and build up to at least 150 minutes per week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more,” the BHF said.
Maintain a healthy weight
For some people, losing weight is all they need to do to lower their blood pressure, according to the charity.
Being overweight forces your heart to work harder and faster to pump blood around the body.
The NHS said: “If you do need to shed some weight, it’s worth remembering that just losing a few pounds will make a big difference to your blood pressure and overall health.”
Get more sleep
Not getting enough sleep has been linked to high blood pressure.
You should aim to get at least six hours sleep every night, the NHS said.
Sleep helps to regulate stress hormones, and helps the nervous system to stay healthy.
Lower the amount of sodium in your diet
Salt raises your blood pressure.
Cutting back on sodium by just a little bit could lower your blood pressure by up to 8mmHg, the Mayo Clinic said.
Everyone should aim to eat less than 6g of salt a day – about the equivalent to a teaspoonful.
Cut back on alcohol
If you regularly drink too much alcohol, your blood pressure can rise over time, according to the NHS.
Men and women shouldn’t drink any more than 14 units of alcohol a week.
If you’re drinking as much as 14 days, you should spread it over the course of at least three days.
The Mayo Clinic said: “Drinking more than moderate amounts of alcohol can actually raise blood pressure by several points.
“It can also reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.”