It’s no secret that one of the leading causes of varicose veins is high blood pressure. When blood vessels have excess amounts of pressure on them, it does not allow blood to flow through the veins easily and ultimately leads to blood pooling in sections of veins. While varicose veins are commonly a cosmetic problem only, severe cases can often lead to more serious problems as well.
Here are 8 lifestyle changes you can start making today to keep manage your blood pressure:
- Lose a Few Extra Pounds – as weight increases, blood pressure often increases also which makes weight loss one of the best and most effective ways of managing your blood pressure. Additionally, paying close attention to your waistline may also help as carrying excess weight around the hips may put you at greater risk of developing high blood pressure.
- Exercise Regularly – getting at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 3-5 days a week can greatly impact your blood pressure. Regular exercise will help balance out your blood pressure and can lower to regular levels over time.
- Focus on Your Diet – consume foods you know will benefit your overall health! Eating whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables can help lower your blood pressure by up to 14 mmHg.
- Watch Your Sodium Intake – pay attention to your food labels for hidden salt! Even a small reduction can change your blood pressure by 2 to 8mmHg. Try not salting your foods and consuming fewer process foods to keep your sodium intake below 1,500mg per day.
- Limit Alcohol Intake – while some alcohol can be good for your health, drinking more than the average moderate amount can increase your blood pressure and even reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications. If you are on blood pressure medications, consult your physician.
- Quit Smoking – smoking not only directly affects your blood pressure, but also has lasting effects even minutes after your finish. Quitting smoking will not only help your blood pressure return to normal, but will increase life expectancy.
- Reduce Stress Levels – chronic stress is a major contributor to high blood pressure and can lead to other life choices that have even greater effects. Try using a healthy activity to lower your stress levels like yoga, a long walk or time meditating.
- Monitor Your Blood Pressure Regularly – regular visits to your physician or monitoring your blood pressure at home can greatly help hold yourself accountable and motivate you to make the proper decisions to get your number under control!