The ONE thing that keeps BP in check
When you've got high blood pressure, it can feel like you've been saddled with a long to-do list.
You know you're supposed to exercise and eat right... quit smoking and limit alcohol... and cut back on caffeine, salt, and stress.
It's no wonder that the idea of popping just one little pill each day might sound so much easier!
But since BP meds can cause irregular heartbeat, cancer, and even problems in the bedroom, they're really no solution at all.
But according to a new study, you can keep your BP in check naturally by focusing on just ONE thing -- because maintaining a healthy weight is more effective at controlling your BP than ANY other factor.
In the study out of the University of Alabama, researchers followed about 4,600 people for 25 years and measured their blood pressure and other behaviors -- including their smoking and drinking habits, activity levels, diet, and weight maintenance -- at nine different points during that time period.
By the end of the study, it turned out that maintaining a healthy body weight -- which translates to having a BMI of less than 25 -- had the SINGLE greatest impact on blood pressure.
In fact, for those who kept their BMI in the normal range over time, it was 41 percent LESS likely that their BP rose as they aged.Now, that doesn't mean you can spend all your time scarfing down potato chips on the couch.
It just means that diet and exercise are most effective for BP when you use them together as tools to keep your number on the scale steady.
The study also found that limiting alcohol and ditching cigarettes kept blood pressure lower as the years went by -- but the results weren't statistically significant, meaning they could have occurred by chance.
Still, I wouldn't take that as a green light to light up or become a lush... because when it comes to your heart health, you shouldn't leave anything to chance.
So, if you're struggling to keep that BP number down, don't pop a pill. Instead, do everything you can to get to a healthy weight and stay there.
One of the easiest ways to stay lean is to switch to the Paleo (a.k.a. "caveman") diet. It eliminates the grains, sugars, and processed foods that can pack on pounds and emphasizes FRESH foods like fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, nuts, and seeds that fill you up and keep you slim.
Start each day with a protein-packed breakfast and aim for about 30 minutes of physical activity, five days a week.
And keep at it, even after your BP normalizes -- because, unlike those blood pressure pills, the Paleo diet won't make your "top" or "bottom" number take a nosedive into dangerously low levels.