For those trying to live a healthy, independent life style, high blood pressure can be a real issue. In fact, many call it the 'silent killer', because you will often feel no symptoms as it does damage.

However, despite its seriousness, high blood pressure is both easy to diagnose and manage. Sometimes it will require medication, but simple common sense life changes can make a huge difference as well.

Your doctor will instruct you on appropriate ways to reduce your risk of high blood pressure-related issues at the time of diagnosis, and that may include certain types of medication. These pills, when taken regularly, can do a variety of things to your body. This could include blocking a chemical that narrows the blood vessels, widening the blood vessels themselves, or making you urinate more, thus flushing excess fluid from your body that might increase pressure.

If you haven't been diagnosed, but would like to take steps to manage your blood pressure preemptively, here are some life changes you can make:

  • Lose weight: Though it's a great idea for life in general, losing weight can help manage your blood pressure. According to the Heart Foundation, losing just five to 10 per cent of your body weight can reduce high blood pressure risk.
  • Change your diet: Certain elements of an unhealthy diet can increase your risk of high blood pressure. Reducing the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in your regular eating regime is a great start to lowering your blood pressure. Couple this with a reduction in sodium – contained in salt and certain other products – and you'll be well prepared to tackle high blood pressure through diet alone. A fruit and veg-filled diet is also great for the waistline.
  • Limit alcohol intake: Though some recent studies have shown that a small amount of alcohol every so often can have benefits to your heart health, it's important not to drink too much, too regularly. More than one a day could be harmful, especially if you don't normally drink (it's not heart medication, after all).
FAQ: How do I manage my high blood pressure?