Did you know that over one billion people around the globe have hypertension? High blood pressure is a silent killer that overworks your heart and kidneys. The symptomless condition is often the cause of life-threatening diseases like heart failure, heart attack, stroke, and kidney problems. However, if you are diagnosed with hypertension, it is not a death sentence. The good news is that you can take control of your blood pressure numbers, even without medication. Read on for tips to help you fight hypertension.
Increasing physical activity is the best medicine for lowering your blood pressure. Aerobic exercises like running, walking, swimming, or cycling, elevate your heart rate and breathing. Over time, your heart will be healthier and will pump blood with less effort. The result is reduced pressure since the arteries are relaxed. While you do not have to run a marathon, you need to be consistent with your workout routine. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week, as recommended by the NHS, and you will witness fantastic results.
Eat a Balanced Diet
A healthy diet is known to reduce both the systolic and diastolic blood pressure numbers. So your diet should have plenty of fruits, vegetables, potassium, and calcium. You should try to limit your consumption of sodium, saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, and sugar. Fruits and vegetables are critical for low blood pressure since they contain potassium, which can minimise sodium levels in the blood. Berries contain polyphenols that are essential in keeping your heart healthy and maintaining your blood pressure. To reduce sodium intake, ensure you limit salt in your diet – try using herbs and spices instead. You should also be wary of processed products since many of them contain high amounts of sodium.
Stress and anxiety are part of our daily lives, but they can pose serious health problems like hypertension and stroke. Stress hormones cause a spike in blood pressure by constricting your blood vessels. Anxiety and depression also trigger unhealthy habits that can worsen your blood pressure condition. While you cannot avoid stress, you can find ways to cope with it. For instance, yoga or meditation often includes breathing control and techniques that can lower your blood pressure and stress levels.
Limit Alcohol Intake
Typically, a bottle of beer won’t hurt your blood pressure; in some instances, it can even lower it. However, excessive consumption of alcohol can raise the pressure to alarming levels. Besides, liquor reduces the effectiveness of blood pressure medication. Therefore, you should practise moderation when taking alcohol.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity is associated with multiple health problems like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Being overweight increases your blood lipid levels and those fats are deposited in the blood vessels which constricts them, raising blood pressure. Losing a few pounds and watching your waistline makes a huge difference in fighting hypertension. Apart from physical activity, you should also watch your diet. Eating the right portion sizes and maintaining a low-carb diet can reduce your weight and improve your health.
Apart from being a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, every puff of smoke elevates your blood pressure. Besides, the chemicals in cigarettes can cause severe damage to your blood vessels. For instance, tobacco causes inflammation and narrows your arteries. Prolonged smoking can harden your arteries and overwork your heart.
Take Your Medication
Lifestyle changes work wonders in managing your blood pressure, but it is vital to talk to a doctor about your condition. The doctor may prescribe medications to control your hypertension and regular check-ups until your blood pressure stabilises. You should also monitor your numbers at home in-between check-ups and record your progress. Apart from treatment for blood pressure, some supplements are also useful in lowering hypertension. For instance, calcium and magnesium supplements are excellent for keeping your blood pressure in check.
High blood pressure affects many people and should not be a cause for panic. However, making some serious lifestyle changes may be necessary to avoid the worst outcomes.