What factors influence blood pressure?


Quick Answer

Exercise, nutrition, alcohol, stress and smoking affect blood pressure. Nationality, age, genetics and underlying conditions such as kidney disease, diabetes and gout are also significant factors in blood pressure counts.

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Full Answer

An active lifestyle may lower blood pressure. Two and a half hours weekly of regular exercises such as walking, swimming, cycling, taking the stairs and walking to class or work significantly reduces blood pressure.

Utilizing the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, eating plan lowers high blood pressure or decreases the risk of developing high blood pressure. The DASH diet is low in cholesterol and saturated fat and high in fiber, calcium and potassium. The diet requires more than eight daily servings of fruit and vegetables, which provide high contents of potassium and magnesium. Alcohol overconsumption also raises blood pressure, so limit alcohol to one to two servings per week.

Long-term stress is thought to be related to high blood pressure. Engaging in relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, massage, therapy and progressive relaxation may help to lower blood pressure in some people. Smoking narrows the vessels that transport blood throughout the body and hardens arteries, resulting in increased blood pressure. Abstinence from smoking helps people maintain a healthy blood pressure.

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