10 Ways to Lower High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a deceptively common ailment plaguing modern times. It can lead to heart failure, heart attacks, strokes or/and kidney disease. A lower blood pressure protects important organs, like the brain, heart and kidneys from damages. A systolic blood pressure of more than 130 and diastolic over 80 is classified as high blood pressure.
Keeping your blood pressure levels below these limits involves lifestyle changes and possibly hypertension treatment. However, the good news is that modifying your lifestyle can significantly contribute to maintaining healthy blood pressure levels and lowering your risk of suffering from high blood pressure. And for all you know, you may not even require medications to lower high blood pressure.
So, here are ten hypertension guidelines by which you can keep your blood pressure levels optimal.
- Increased Activity & ExerciseWhen you undergo any physical activity, your heart and breathing rates increase over time. This helps your heart get stronger so that it can pump with less effort. So there’s less pressure on your arteries and hence, blood pressure remains normal.
Exercising can be as simple as using the stairs, walking or going for a bike ride, doing household chores or playing a team sport
- Losing Excess WeightIf you’re overweight, it’s helpful to lose even 2 to 5 kilos. The reduced weight contributes to lowering your blood pressure. It can also lower your risk for other medical problems
- Reduce Sugar And Sodium IntakeReducing refined carbohydrates through a low-carb diet is greatly effective in lowering blood pressure. So is lowering your sodium intake. While some people are salt-sensitive, i.e., higher salt intake increases their blood pressure, others are salt-insensitive. These people can excrete the excess salt in their urine without affecting their blood pressure
- Increase PotassiumPotassium eases tension in your blood vessels by reducing the effects of salt in your system. Foods that are naturally high in potassium include low-fat dairy foods like milk and yoghurt, fish, fruits like bananas, apricots, avocados, and oranges, vegetables like sweet potatoes, potatoes, tomatoes, greens, and spinach
- Quit SmokingQuitting smoking is not only good for your overall health but it can lower your risk of having high blood pressure as well. Smoking induces an immediate but temporary spike in your blood pressure and heart rate. Long term use damages the blood vessel walls, causing inflammation and narrowing of your arteries, ultimately causing higher blood pressure
- Reduce Excess StressSince we live under constant stress, finding ways to reduce it is vital for your blood pressure levels and overall health. Adopt different ways to relieve stress like deep breathing, taking a walk, reading a book or other engaging entertainment. Natural therapies like acupuncture can lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure
- Take Up Meditation Or YogaTranscendental meditation and other mindfulness practices reduce stress. Yoga involves breathing control, posture correction and meditation techniques and is also effective in reducing stress and blood pressure
- Have Dark ChocolateDark chocolate with 60 to 70 per cent cocoa has been known to lower blood pressure. Eating one to two squares per day may help lower blood pressure and inflammation and hence lower the risk of heart diseases. The flavonoids in dark chocolate dilate or widen your blood vessels, so there’s less pressure on them
- Get Quality SleepBlood pressure typically drops down when you’re sleeping. So if you don’t sleep well your blood pressure levels are bound to get affected. People with sleep deprivation have an increased risk of high blood pressure. Try setting a regular sleep schedule, exercise and avoid naps during the day, and relax at night. Regularly sleeping less than 7 hours a night and more than 9 hours is associated with an increased prevalence of hypertension while less than 5 hours of regular sleep is linked to a significant risk of long-term
If your blood pressure levels are high or don’t reduce after these lifestyle changes, talk to your doctor for possible blood pressure treatments. Talk with your doctor about possible medications and what might work best for you. For a comprehensive understanding of hypertension treatment, see more here.