High blood pressure, also known as Hypertension, is a common medical condition in which the blood pressure increases to unhealthy levels. It often has no signs and symptoms, and is called the “silent killer”.
Long-term high blood pressure can cause damage to your arteries and blood vessels and can lead to severe health problems, including heart attack and stroke.
Medication can lower high blood pressure but may cause side effects.
Fortunately, many people can bring down their blood pressure naturally by following a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some lifestyle changes you can make that help reduce and even prevent high blood pressure:
Maintain a healthy weight
Blood pressure often increases as weight increases.
Being overweight or obese puts extra strain on your heart, increasing the risk of developing high blood pressure.
Maintaining a healthy weight, or losing weight if you’re overweight is the most effective thing you can do to control your blood pressure.
Another effective way to lower blood pressure is exercise. With regular exercise, your heart gets stronger and pumps blood with less effort.
This puts less pressure on your arteries and lowers your blood pressure.
Physical activity not only helps control blood pressure, it also helps keep your weight under control and lowers your stress levels.
Some aerobic exercises that may help in lowering blood pressure include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or dancing.
Reduce salt intake
The more salt (sodium) you eat, the higher your blood pressure. When people with high blood pressure reduce salt intake, their blood pressure usually decreases.
Reduce your total salt intake by not adding extra salt to your meals and avoiding packaged and processed foods, which are often high in salt content.
Eat a healthy diet
Eating healthy foods can help keep your blood pressure under control.
Eat a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. Your diet should also be low in saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, and sugar.
This eating plan is known as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and can help you lower your blood pressure.
In addition, eat foods rich in potassium, which can lessen the effects of sodium, and can also help lower blood pressure.
Drink less alcohol
Even if you’re healthy, drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure.
It can also decrease the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.
Moreover, alcohol is high in calories which can make you gain weight and as a result also increase your blood pressure.
If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
Smoking causes an immediate but temporary increase in your blood pressure and also an increase in your heart rate. The chemicals in tobacco are also known to damage blood vessels.
If you do not smoke, do not start. If you do smoke, quitting will help lower your risk for heart disease.
Chronic stress can contribute to high blood pressure.
Stress can also result in other behaviours, such as eating unhealthy food, drinking alcohol, smoking, and poor sleeping habits, that may also increase blood pressure.
Therefore, reducing stress is important for your health and your blood pressure.
Practice healthy stress management techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, and listening to soothing music.
Working a bit less, getting regular exercise, and plenty of sleep can also help.
Monitor your blood pressure
Have your blood pressure measured regularly, either at your doctor’s clinic or at your home.
High blood pressure usually occurs without any symptoms, so only blood pressure readings can tell you if your blood pressure is on the rise.
If your blood pressure is very high or does not decrease with lifestyle changes, your doctor may prescribe medications, which can help bring blood pressure levels back to normal.
Disclaimer: All material on Hidoc.co is provided for informational purposes only and should not be taken as a substitute for professional medical or health advice. Always seek the advice of your physician for any questions regarding your symptoms or medical condition and before taking any home remedies or supplements.