People who are suffering from hypertension often need medicines to control their blood pressure. However, certain lifestyle changes can also help in reducing your blood pressure.
Lifestyle plays a vital role in maintaining healthy blood pressure. If you are able to control your blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle, then you can reduce or completely avoid the use of medications.
Below we have present the top 10 ways by which you can treat hypertension. These lifestyle changes will help you in lowering the blood pressure and also reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Yoga is a great way to reduce stress. A recent study in New Delhi revealed that yogic exercises lower the blood pressure in people who are suffering from hypertension. Yoga helps with hypertension by its effect on the autonomic nervous system, which regulates heart rate, digestion, and other functions.
2. LOSE THE EXTRA POUND:
Our blood pressure increases with increasing body weight. Obesity can also disrupt breathing while sleeping, which increases blood pressure further. Losing weight is one of the great ways to control blood pressure and treat hypertension. Just by losing 10 pounds, you can lower your blood pressure to a significant amount.
While losing weight, make sure to concentrate more on your waistline, as too much weight on the waistline can make you more prone to high blood pressure.
3. HEALTHY DIET:
Eat healthy food with lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products to keep healthy blood pressure. Also, avoid saturated fat and cholesterol as much as possible as they are only going to increase hypertension.
Changing your eating habits is tough, but here are a few tips that will help you:
- FOOD DIARY– Maintain a food diary, write what you eat. This will shed some light on your current eating habits and will force you to make changes. Monitor when you eat, how much and why.
- ADD MORE POTASSIUM– Potassium is very effective in reducing the effect of sodium and hence reduces the blood pressure. Go for potassium enriched fruits and vegetables, rather than supplements.
- SHOP SMARTLY– Be a smart shopper and read the label of the food product. Do not mess with your healthy diet plan. This also goes when you are eating outside.
Exercising regularly for a minimum of 30 minutes can reduce your blood pressure significantly by 4-9 mm of mercury. Make sure you exercise daily because once you stop exercising, your blood pressure will rise again.
If you are at the stage of prehypertension, then regular exercise can prevent you from developing full-blown hypertension.
Walking, jogging, cycling, dancing, or swimming are some of the best exercises that will help you in reducing the blood pressure.
5. LIMIT ALCOHOL INTAKE:
Alcohol can have a negative as well as a positive impact on your hypertension. Alcohol in a small amount can lower the blood pressure by 2-4 mm Hg.
However, alcohol loses its positive effect once it is taken beyond a healthy amount. One drink in a day is normal for women and men over the age of 65, and for the men below the age of 65, it is two drinks a day. One drink means five ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor.
So, when you drink beyond a healthy limit, your blood pressure raises by several points. It might also reduce the effect of blood pressure medications.
6. CUT BACK ON SODIUM:
Even just a slight slacking back on sodium can lower your blood pressure by 2-8 mm Hg. The effect of sodium on blood pressures varies from person to person. So, on average, you should take sodium less than 2,300 mg a day.
Read the food label while shopping; go for low-sodium food items and beverages. Avoid processed food; they usually contain a high amount of sodium. Instead of salt use more herbs and spices to add flavor.
Cutting down on sodium will be difficult in the beginning, but you will ease into it, and our palate will become used to it.
7. NO SMOKING:
Every time you smoke, it increases your blood pressure. Quitting smoking will be a great step towards treating hypertension and it is also great for overall body health. A person who smokes has a lower life expectancy as compared to a non-smoker.
8. RELAX YOURSELF:
Chronic stress is one of the important factors that lead to hypertension. Normal stress can also contribute to high blood pressure if you react to the situation by junking, smoking, or drinking alcohol.
Give yourself time to do stuff; don’t try to do all at once. If you have difficulty talk to someone, don’t get all worked up about it.
Take at least 15 minutes a day to just sit quietly and do nothing.
9. LIMIT THE INTAKE OF CAFFEINE:
While caffeine can increase your blood pressure by 10 mm Hg in people who are not an occasional drinker, it has little or no effect on people who are occasional coffee drinkers.
To see if coffee affects you, check your blood pressure within 30 minutes of consuming a caffeine drink. If your blood pressure increases by 5-10 mm Hg, then you might want to avoid coffee or any other caffeine drink.
10. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE:
The supportive surrounding can help you in living a healthy life. They will encourage you to take care of yourself.
They may join you on the exercise program, to motivate you. If you need support beyond your loved ones, you can join a support group too.
There you will find people with whom you can connect on the same level, and motivate each other.