You’ve probably heard losing just five to ten pounds may be one of the ways to lower your blood pressure. That’s because weight loss and blood pressure are connected.

It might be hard to understand how weight loss and blood pressure relate, but according to studies taking steps to lose weight also means you’re taking steps to lower your blood pressure. Weight and blood pressure are two large determining factors when it comes to heart disease risk.

And of course, being overweight opens the door for a number of health problems.

Excessive fat tissue leads to an increased strain on blood vessels — they can’t dilate and contract properly, and are not as flexible.

Did You Know?

Being overweight and hypertension are connected. More than 65 million Americans have hypertension and hypertension is the leading reason adults visit their physician and those who are overweight are more likely to have hypertension.

The number of individuals who are obese is also rising. Other health problems related to obesity include a reduced life expectancy, coronary heart disease, diabetes, gallstones, osteoarthritis, abnormal cholesterol, stroke, sleep apnea and more.

Because of this strain, it is more difficult for the heart to pump blood throughout the body, and blood pressure increases.

Weight loss itself is a healthy way of lowering blood pressure.

You can only acheive weight loss with a healthy diet and an active lifestyle, and so we come full circle to not only the benefits of weight loss but also the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Try these small things that will make a big difference in your efforts to lose weight and lower your blood pressure:

1) Cut Sodium

Water retention causes a lot of excess weight gain and high blood pressure. The more sodium in your body, the more water the tissues in your body hold onto.

Try limiting your sodium and drinking plenty of water. This will help cleanse your system, rid your body of excess water weight, and relieve the pressure on your blood vessels.

2) Increase Potassium

Potassium plays a crucial role in helping you control your blood pressure levels. Potassium can also help with weight loss as it plays a role in building muscle, synthesizing protein, controlling body fluid balance and ensuring healthy cell function.

Good sources of potassium include: bananas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomato sauce, orange juice, yogurt and other dairy products.

3) Get At Least 30 Minutes Of Cardio Every Day

Cardio not only helps you to lose weight and burn fat, it helps strengthen your heart.

It is, after all, a very important muscle. Make sure your cardio workouts are enough to get you sweating and breathing hard for the majority of the workout. Higher intensity workouts are better for the heart and ultimately for your health.

Dietary supplements can also change your blood pressure for the better. Supplements such as l-arginine and l-citrulline are powerful vasodilators, and can increase blood flow while improving energy and mood.

It’s important to remember obesity is associated with hypertension. Having high blood pressure can lead to a number of additional health complications. If you’re overweight, it’s also important to make the necessary lifestyle changes to reduce your weight.