Meta: Want to lower your blood pressure? Read this article to find the most effective tips to bring down those numbers and get healthy again.
As a matter of fact, most patients with high blood pressure get into action only after their doctor confirms the diagnosis. While we cannot consider this as a wrong practice, you should keep in mind that your health is always at your hand. Healthy lifestyle measures can go a long way in lowering your blood pressure, even if you are taking medicine or have more than one risk factor. Continue reading to learn what measures can help to lower your blood pressure.
Before we start, let’s learn in brief about high blood pressure, hypertension, risk factors, and common treatment approaches.
What Is Hypertension?
Hypertension is a cardiovascular condition that results when your blood pressure remains higher than 120/80 mmHg in most occasions. Genetics, age, gender, high-sodium diet, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and heavy alcohol consumptions are some of the most common risk factors. A combination of healthy lifestyle changes and medicine form the mainstay of the treatment.
Use the Following Measures to Lower Your Blood Pressure
The following measures mainly have a complementary effect on the medicine you are taking. You should remember that once a diagnosis has been confirmed, changing your diet and habits alone may not suffice. Nonetheless, it does not take away the fact that lifestyle changes are an important part of the overall hypertension treatment approach.
Consider using the following tips whether or not the diagnosis has been confirmed.
- Shed the extra pounds and reduce the waistline. No doubt, obesity and being overweight are the main culprits behind elevated blood pressure. Luckily, you can control both these conditions. Research shows losing weight as little as 10 pounds can lead to a marked decrease in blood pressure. BMI or body mass index is one of the most common tools commonly used to determine if you are obese. To calculate your BMI, divide your weight in kg by height in meters squared. That is BMI= (weight in kg) / (height in meter)2. Alternately, you may also use a reliable online BMI calculator. Likewise, you can also measure your waist circumference to know if you are in the red zone. The risk is high if you are:
- A male and the waist measures greater than 40 inches.
- A female and the waist measures greater than 35 inches.
- Eat a healthy diet. You become what you eat. The role of a healthy diet in disease prevention and health maintenance is undebatable. The same applies when you are looking to lower your blood pressure. While you cannot expect to change your dietary habits overnight, gradually choosing healthy foods andtheright portions will surely benefit. Opt for a diet which contains generous amounts of whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables, and cut down on high-fat foods. Also, keep a close eye on what you are eating and what you should eat. If you find it difficult to choose your foods or have problems following a diet, consult a nutritionist.
- Reduce sodium. Sodium or common salt is a critical component of any diet. But too much sodium can lead to an increased blood pressure. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), average salt consumption in the US exceeds the standard limits. In fact, the AHA recommends not to consume more than 2,300 milligrams of salt in a day which is the amount present in a teaspoon. You should note that a major portion of the salt comes from junk foods. Focus on controlling your food habits and reading labels on the packaged items. Another way to reduce sodium is to replace high-salt foods with other healthy options. If you are at a restaurant, order a low-salt version of the food and control the portion size. Moreover, talk to your doctor if you can take a potassium supplement. Unlike sodium, potassium does not elevate blood pressure.
- Increase your physical activity. Any physical activity is good for your heart as long as you are consistent. Reports suggest exercising at least 30 minutes 5 days a week can reduce your blood pressure by as much as 9 mm Hg. Nonetheless, your requirement can differ. To lower your blood pressure, choose any exercise that fits your health and schedule. Brisk walking, gardening, swimming, running, cardio, weight training, and cycling are some of your options. In any case, consult your doctor before starting any exercise regimen.
- Reduce alcohol intake. When you have high blood pressure, heavy drinking can further worsen your condition. Thus, do not have more than one drink a day if you are female and two drinks a day if you are male. One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 1/2 ounces of 80-proof whiskey for example. If you have problems controlling or giving up your drinking habit, consult your doctor.
- Stop smoking. If you are a smoker, quit it today, and if you do not smoke, do not start. Smoking cigarettes or cigars, or any form of tobacco consumption, raises your blood pressure. Talk to your doctor to learn which smoking cessation program may be useful in your case.
- Changing your lifestyle and replacing bad habits with the good ones can save youfrom complications of high blood pressure.
- The tips mentioned above are not replacements for your medicines. Nonetheless, using them in combination with medical approaches is the best.
- Consult your doctor before following any specific diet plans or exercise regimens.
Want To Know More?
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