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5 Winter-Friendly Ways To Keep Your Blood Pressure Low

Take control of your health.


Keeping your blood pressure in check is an important task — and it can become even more difficult in the winter. Exercise and diet are key players in lowering BP, but when it’s cold outside, it’s hard to find the motivation to exercise, and many of the most comforting, warming foods are high in salt and fat. Cold weather also constricts blood vessels, ticking blood pressure upward as the heart works harder to improve circulation. Want some simple tricks to benefit your ticker despite the cold weather? Check out these five easy moves that will help your levels stay low all winter long.

Try ancient porridge.

Nothing warms you up like a hot breakfast. Amaranth, an ancient grain with a nutty taste, packs a healthy punch when served as porridge. It contains magnesium, a nutrient many of us are deficient in. Just 1 cooked cup provides 160 milligrams — that’s a large portion of your daily needs. And research in Nutrition Journal found that an increase in daily dietary magnesium intake is associated with a decreased risk of hypertension, or high blood pressure.

Give a squeeze.

Don’t feel like changing out of your sweater and into workout clothes? Good news: You don’t need to move your entire body to experience blood-pressure-lowering benefits. While watching TV, squeeze a tennis ball during commercials. A recent study found that isometric hand grip moves like this lowered blood pressure in individuals with hypertension.

Play with Rover.

Don’t put that tennis ball away yet — playing fetch, tossing a ball, or going for a quick stroll with your dog could have benefits for your blood pressure. A 2013 study found that having a pet is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, since pet care is associated with healthy habits and reduced stress.

Take a deep breath.

Twice a day, take two minutes to breathe in slowly, then fully exhale. Harvard scientists say that deep breathing — done by inhaling nasally for four seconds, then exhaling for another four — can lower blood pressure by stimulating an area of the brain that triggers relaxation.

Brew a cuppa.

One of the best parts about cold weather is drinking hot tea and feeling it warm you up from the inside out. And as it happens, sipping tea could be good for your blood pressure, too. A 2019 study suggested that regular consumption of tea — both green and black — may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and have anti-hypertensive effects by reducing inflammation in the veins and relaxing muscles.

This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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