High blood pressure: The 10-minute daily ‘nostril’ exercise proven to lower hypertension
High blood pressure: Lifestyle changes to reduce reading
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High blood pressure forces your heart to work harder to pump blood around the body. This may seem benign, but the strain it places on your heart can hike your risk of having a heart attack. Fortunately, you can dramatically lower your blood pressure by making simple lifestyle tweaks.
A study published in the Journal of Education and Health Promotion exemplifies the impact even modest changes can have on blood pressure.
“Hypertension has a direct relationship with the circulation, respiration, and function of vital organs,” wrote the study’s researchers.
To investigate this relationship further, the researchers explored the impact a nostril breathing exercise may have on hypertension.
A total of 170 and 85 individuals were allotted to each group.
Patients in the study group were instructed to undergo alternating nostril breathing exercises two times a day (10 minute duration of exercise each time) for five days along with routine treatment, and patients in the control group underwent routine treatment.
There was a marked reduction in systolic blood pressure (BP), diastolic BP, heart rate, and rate pressure product after the continuous five-day alternate nostril breathing exercise in the study group, the researchers found.
They demonstrated a “statistically significant” difference in systolic BP, diastolic BP, heart rate, and rate pressure from pre and post-assessment on first day and fifth day.
“It can be concluded that regular simple alternate nostril breathing exercise effectively reduces hypertension,” the researchers concluded.
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Systolic and diastolic blood pressure – what these numbers mean
The systolic pressure (higher number) is the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body.
The diastolic pressure (lower number) is the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels.
They’re both measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg).
As a general guide, high blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher (or 150/90mmHg or higher if you’re over the age of 80).
General tips to lower hypertension
Cut down on the amount of salt in your food and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.
“Salt raises your blood pressure. The more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure,” warns the NHS,
According to the health body, you should aim to eat less than 6g (0.2oz) of salt a day, which is about a teaspoonful.
“Eating a low-fat diet that includes lots of fibre, such as wholegrain rice, bread and pasta, and plenty of fruit and vegetables also helps lower blood pressure,” it adds.
How do I know if I have high blood pressure?
High blood pressure, or hypertension, rarely has noticeable symptoms. The only way to find out if your blood pressure is high is to have your blood pressure checked.
All adults in the UK over 40 are advised to have their blood pressure checked at least every five years.
Getting this done is easy and could save your life.
You can get your blood pressure tested at a number of places, including:
- At your GP surgery
- At some pharmacies
- As part of your NHS Health Check
- In some workplaces.
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