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High Blood Pressure? Try This

Blood pressure is a measurement of the force your blood exerts as it pushes against your arteries. Normally, it will rise and fall throughout the day, but when it remains consistently high, it becomes a problem. High blood pressure can end up damaging your heart as well as other parts of your body, including your kidneys, eyes, brain, respiratory system and reproductive system. Uncontrolled high blood pressure is especially dangerous, as it can lead to potentially fatal conditions such as stroke and heart failure.

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If you’re suffering from high blood pressure, there are plenty of natural remedies you can implement to help normalize your levels without the use of prescription drugs. Optimizing your sodium to potassium ratio, eating whole, organic foods, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding alcohol and cigarettes and managing your stress levels can all help lower high blood pressure naturally. Another possible fix: hula dancing!

Exercising regularly can help significantly reduce your risk of chronic disease and, according to a new study, you may be able to hula dance your way into lower blood pressure levels. Researchers at the University of Hawaii found that men and women who participated in a program to help lower blood pressure — which included hula dancing — were able to significantly lower their levels, compared to those who simply received education on diet and exercise.

Previous research found that most Native Hawaiians are not interested in traditional lifestyle programs that may help lower blood pressure. Their concerns included program cost, boring activities and dietary goals that are difficult to maintain. That’s why this team of researchers developed a program that included hula dancing — an inexpensive, culturally-relevant lifestyle intervention that can be performed at different intensity levels by people of all ages.

More than 80% of the group continued the program for six months, while 77% were still hula dancing one year in. Researchers found that the study participants were able to decrease their risk of heart disease and maintain improvements in their health — particularly regarding their blood pressure levels — even six months after the hula class had ended.

If you think you might enjoy hula dancing, go for it! But to help balance your blood pressure levels, nearly any kind of exercise will do. Go for a bike ride, a jog or a swim. Just get your body moving and you’ll surely reap the benefits.

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