Keeping your Blood Pressure stable

This is one of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy heart

A Vogel and Heart Health 1

Keeping an eye on your blood pressure is a sensible precaution to ensure your heart health is on track. If blood pressure measurements flag up some concerns, lifestyle changes are easy to adopt to help restore you to a healthy range.

High blood pressure increases your risk of heart attack and stroke, so knowing your normal blood pressure and regular monitoring could save your life. Ideal blood pressure is thought to range between 90/60 and 120/80 . Only one of your numbers needs to be higher than it should be to indicate high blood pressure. A single high reading doesn’t necessarily mean you have high blood pressure, as many things can affect your blood pressure throughout the day, such as the temperature, when you last ate, and if you’re feeling stressed. Your doctor will probably want to measure your blood pressure a number of times over a few weeks, or ask you to measure it several times per day for a week, to make sure the reading wasn’t just a one off.

To help set good practice for the rest of the year and beyond, here are some easy tips that will support healthy blood pressure levels.

Healthy Habits that Lower Blood Pressure

Diet – Choose Foods to Lower your BP

Some foods are known to lower blood pressure. It’s worth increasing these in your diet to reap their positive benefits. Try pomegranates, dark chocolate, spinach, flaxseeds and garlic. For more information on how these foods help, click here…

In particular, look to the vibrant purple beetroot for proven results. Research has indicated that drinking a 250ml glass of beetroot juice daily could significantly lower the blood pressure of people with high blood pressure . By the end of the study, participants had blood pressure levels back in the ‘normal’ range. Another study found that consuming just 100g of beetroot juice could help significantly reduce blood pressure in as short a space of time as 24 hours! The beneficial effect is due to high levels of nitrates which are found in beetroot. Nitrates are converted into nitric oxide by the cells that line blood vessels; this nitric oxide is a powerful dilator of blood vessels, which action results in lower blood pressure.

Tip: Don’t boil your beets, as the water-soluble nitrates can be lost; better to steam, roast or enjoy as a juice such as Biotta Beetroot, £4.49, 500mls from and independent health stores.

Sleep – Set Positive Sleep Habits

It’s thought that those achieving less than 5 hours of sleep per night are at higher risk of developing high blood pressure, or experiencing other cardiovascular events such as strokes. Sleep deprivation can raise your stress levels which can have a knock-on effect on your blood pressure levels too. Poor sleep can also encourage other unhealthy habits that have the potential to upset your blood pressure, such as increased caffeine consumption, food cravings and sedentary behaviour which, together, can contribute to high blood pressure. Be strict with yourself and aim to go to bed and wake at the same time, and to achieve at least 7 to 9 hours sleep per night.

Tip: If you have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep at night, try a licensed herbal medicine containing Valerian and Hops. These herbs are proven to promote sleep and increase the amount of restorative deep sleep that the body requires to rest, repair and rejuvenate. Try A.Vogel Dormeasan, £10.85 (50ml) from Holland & Barrett, and independent pharmacies and health stores.

Stress Less

We know from a significant body of research that short periods of stress are not harmful to mental and overall health, as the body returns to normal. However, long-term and chronic stress can lead to anxiety and depression, physical health problems and immune function impairment,” says Professor Margareta James of Harley Street Wellbeing Clinic. “If we react badly to stress, blood pressure can increase and so it is helpful to learn ways in which you can reduce and manage long-term and acute stress situations to relieve the pressure your body feels during these times.

Professor James suggests starting the day positively to help your body help itself. “If you are feeling stressed and anxious, psychosensory techniques like HAVENING ( can help relax the body and calm the brain, increase oxytocin and dopamine whilst reducing feelings of anxiety. Using this technique will help you become more relaxed, improve your sleep and overall wellbeing,” she explains.

The online resource, offers a whole range of tools and resources to help you understand and manage stress and anxiety at home, at work and in relationships, including how helping others can help shift your focus away from your own worries. Find ways to connect with others, as sharing experiences can help you process them and can also help others who experience similar feelings.

Tip: If you know you are going into a period of short-term stress, on-the-go support in the form of the herb Passiflora and lemon balm can be helpful to aid relaxation and enable you to better manage stressful feelings. Try pocket-sized A.Vogel Passiflora Complex Spray £12.99 (20ml) to help relieve stressful moments, or for longer term support, A.Vogel Passiflora Tablets, £12.99 (30 tablets) from and independent pharmacies and health stores.

Be Happy

Happiness is a balance of pleasure and purpose. Learning how to switch off and relax, and develop a sense of purpose in life, can boost your wellbeing and have a positive impact on maintaining healthy blood pressure levels.

Laugh More
Laughing is a great way to reduce blood pressure it creates a chemical reaction in the body that lowers pressure and it’s free.

Zone out
Take a break from the influences around you from time to time and get completely engaged and absorbed in tasks that you enjoy, require little thought and allow you to relax. Knitting and crocheting, baking, reading, gardening – play to your strengths in an activity you enjoy that has repetitive and rhythmic movements that soothe you, and allows your mind to hit neutral.

Whether you have a rewarding job or not, retired or a home-maker, a lack of a sense of real purpose in life can lower your ability to feel happy. One of the ways you can feel valued is by contributing to the life of others through volunteering and the sense of satisfaction that is received.

Enjoy exercise
Aerobic exercises such as brisk walking, playing tennis, jogging, swimming and dancing involve repetitive and rhythmic movements which get your heart, lungs, blood vessels and muscles working and help lower your blood pressure. It is recommended that every adult should be moderately active for 30 minutes a day, five times a week. Make exercise part of your weekly social calendar. Ditch the sedentary coffee shop chat for a catch-up cuppa whilst you walk.

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