If you’re dealing with high blood pressure, you might also be worried about taking medication to lower your levels. Lifestyle plays an essential role in treating your high blood pressure. You can avoid the need for medication by successfully controlling your blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle.
You don’t have to run marathons. Incorporating simple exercises in your lifestyle can do the work like:
- Walking Instead Of Driving
- Using The Stairs
- Doing Household Chores
- Going For A Bike Ride
- Playing A Team Sport
Eat Less Salt
Most people overeat salt. According to experts, an average American eats about 3000 mg of sodium a day. However, the recommended daily intake is only 2000 mg, and for those with high blood pressure, an ideal limit of fewer than 1,500 mg per day.
Even a little reduction of salt in your diet can help reduce your blood pressure if you have Hypertension and improve your heart health.
To eat less salt, follow the tips below.
- Eat Less Processed Food: Nearly 80% of sodium comes from prepackaged, processed, and restaurant foods. That is because only a small amount of salt naturally occurs in foods.
- Read Food Labels: Look for sodium levels and go for low sodium versions of the beverages and food you buy.
- Don’t Add More Salt: A teaspoon of salt contains 2,300 mg of sodium. Instead, use salt substitutes such as spices, garlic, herbs, and other seasonings except the salt to add flavor to your favorite dishes.
Eat A Healthy Diet
Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products with good cholesterol and saturated fat can lower your blood pressure if you have high blood pressure. This diet plan is known as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.
Regular exercise or any workout for at least 30 minutes can lower your blood pressure if you have high blood pressure. However, it’s essential to be consistent, as if you stop exercising, your blood pressure can increase again.
If you already have Hypertension, a regular workout can take your blood pressure down to normal levels.
Some of the exercises you may try to lower blood pressure include:
Strength exercise or training also can help reduce blood pressure. So go for strength training exercises at least two days a week. Also, consult your doctor about developing an exercise program.
Stress hormones compress your blood vessels and can lead to temporary studs in blood pressure. Moreover, stress can trigger serious health issues that can put your cardiovascular health at risk with time. These might include poor sleep, overeating, and misusing drugs and alcohol. Therefore, reducing stress should be a priority for all these reasons to lower your blood pressure.
Drink Less Alcohol
Drinking alcohol can increase blood pressure. Sometimes low-to-moderate alcohol may protect the heart, but adverse effects may offset those benefits in some cases.
In the U.S., average alcohol consumption is defined as one drink a day for women and two for men. So if you drink more, cut back. Drinking alcohol regardless of the quantity may increase your blood pressure. Restrict your drinking in line with the recommendations.
Eat Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is rich in flavanols, which boost blood flow by relaxing blood vessels, and research suggests that dark chocolate consumption could lower blood pressure. Of course, chocolate can’t be your primary strategy for managing blood pressure, but it’s a healthy choice when you’re craving a treat.
Cigarettes increase your blood pressure. If you stop smoking, you can reduce your risk of heart disease, help your blood pressure return to normal, and improve your overall health.
Eat More Potassium
Potassium helps the body get rid of sodium and relieves tension in the blood vessels, which helps to further lower blood pressure. It helps regulate heart rate and also reduces the effects of sodium in the body.
Adjust your diet without taking supplements to increase potassium in your body. Potassium-rich foods include:
- Fruits Like Melons, Bananas, Oranges, Avocados, Apricots, And Tomatoes
- Milk, Cream Cheese, And Yogurt
- Leafy Green Vegetables, Sweet Potatoes, And Potatoes
- Tuna And Salmon
- Nuts And Seeds
Consulting your doctor about potassium is vital, while adding these foods into your diet can improve heart health. Also, if you have a significant kidney condition, you should avoid overeating potassium because your kidneys may not eliminate it.
People who drink coffee and tea have a lower risk of heart problems, including high blood pressure than those who don’t drink it. If you think you’re caffeine-sensitive, cut back to see if it lowers your blood pressure.
So ultimately, caffeine can cause a short-term spike in blood pressure, although it does not cause a lasting increase for many people.
When you make some lifestyle changes that help reduce your blood pressure, you will benefit your health in other ways too. For example, the recommended diet, exercise, and weight guidelines will also lower your risk of developing diabetes, some dementia, cancer, and high cholesterol.