Health tips, news, and updates

Back 14 May, 2024 - Thrive!


Five fun ways to beat high blood pressure

Five fun ways to beat high blood pressure

Eating healthy and exercising are great ways to lower blood pressure, but there are other fun things you can also do to beat hypertension.
Read more

One out of every three South Africans suffer from high blood pressure, which increases their risk of serious diseases such as strokes, heart disease, and kidney failure. And often, one type of medication is not enough to lower blood pressure. It is, therefore, wise to try to get high blood pressure under control before you need medication.

Eating healthy and exercising regularly are the best ways to combat high blood pressure. While this is an excellent rule of thumb, here are five lesser-known ways to lower your blood pressure.

Sit in the sun for short periods

Recent research has found that a vitamin D deficiency can lead to high blood pressure and diabetes. Spending some time in the sunshine boosts your vitamin D levels, which helps lower your blood pressure. Sunlight also helps to convert the nitrates stored in your skin into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a chemical compound that helps to widen your blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure.

Spend time with animals

A study in Japan found that the blood pressure of visitors to a zoo dropped by between 6% and 8% after watching the animals. This is because your parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for calming your nerves, is stimulated when you watch animals.

If you can’t get to the zoo, your pets, or even the birds in the neighbourhood can provide distraction. Furthermore, giving your pet some attention allows you to relax, which also helps to lower blood pressure.

Laugh out loud

Laughing has a similar effect on your body as exercise. The physical act of laughing causes the inner lining of your blood vessels to expand and improves circulation, which lowers your blood pressure.

Do static exercises

Static exercises, or isometric exercise, is a type of exercise that involves only a small amount of muscles. For high blood pressure, the focus is often on isometric hand grip exercises, where the muscles in the hand are trained with a particular device that works with resistance. Regular hand grip exercise for at least 15 minutes, five days a week, can lead to lower blood pressure. Other well-known static exercises that appear to lower blood pressure are wall Pilates and plank exercises.

Turn on some music

Music plays a role in lowering high blood pressure. By listening to music with a steady tempo for 30 minutes, you can increase the lining of your blood vessels by 26%. Sing along or do some stretching exercises while listening, and you can lower your blood pressure even more. The secret is to listen to music you like, as the release of dopamine associated with the music contributes to reduced blood pressure levels.

It is important to remember that these alternative approaches are not a substitute for professional medical advice but rather a supplement. Using various methods, you can fight high blood pressure in a more comprehensive, fun, and effective way.

Did you know?

You can have your blood pressure tested for free as part of Medihelp’s added insured benefits. The combination test includes blood glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure and body mass index (BMI) and can help you detect risk factors in time to prevent hypertension. Read more about the combination test here.

Learn more about blood pressure

Share this on:
Online chat

Please complete the fields below to chat to a consultant.