If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you must pay attention and take the necessary actions to reduce its complications.
While medications are one strategy to lower blood pressure, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is equally important in managing high blood pressure. The need for medicine may be avoided, postponed, or reduced by leading a healthy lifestyle.
What is high blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the force the heart pushes blood through the arteries. A measurement of less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury is considered normal blood pressure (mm Hg).
Blood flows through the arteries more strongly when blood pressure is high. As a result, the blood vessels are damaged, and pressure is increased on the arteries' sensitive tissues.
In the US, less than half of adults have their blood pressure under control, and about one-third of all adults have high blood pressure.
You risk developing an aneurysm, kidney damage, heart disease, and stroke when your blood pressure is too high for an extended period.
Here are some of the effective ways to lower your blood pressure levels.
Be more active & exercise more
Physical activity regularly can reduce high blood pressure by 5 to 8 mm Hg. You must keep working out to prevent blood pressure from increasing. Generally, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day.
Additionally, strength exercise helps lower blood pressure. At least twice a week, try to include strength-training activities. Consult your healthcare provider about creating an exercise plan.
Maintain a healthy weight
One of the best lifestyle improvements for blood pressure regulation is weight loss. Losing even a tiny amount of weight if you are obese or overweight can help lower your blood pressure.
Have a healthy diet
Many believe that DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is the best diet for controlling and reducing blood pressure.
It involves staying away from or cutting back on:
- Foods high in total and saturated fat
- Processed foods
Eat more of:
- Calcium-rich foods
- Fruits and vegetables, which are high in antioxidants
- High-protein foods, like unsalted nuts
- Leafy greens or beans
- Whole grains
Reduce your sodium intake
It is possible to enhance heart health and lower high blood pressure by 5 to 6 mm Hg with even a slight reduction in sodium intake.
Different groups respond differently to sodium consumption in terms of blood pressure. Limit your daily salt intake to 2,300 mg or less. For most adults, though, a daily salt consumption of 1,500 mg or less is ideal.
Quit smoking & limit alcohol
Perhaps the best thing you can do for your heart is to quit smoking. Additionally, it benefits your general health. Every time you smoke, your blood pressure goes up, which is harmful over the long term.
It's crucial to keep an eye on your alcohol intake. Alcoholic beverages may have high calorie and sugar content, resulting in weight gain and increased body fat, raising blood pressure.
You should exercise extra caution when drinking if you are currently taking medication to lower your blood pressure.
Reduce your stress
We are in a challenging period. Stress is a result of expectations from the workplace, the family, and both domestic and foreign politics. Your health and blood pressure depend on you finding strategies to lessen stress. Try the following:
- Only attempt to do a little. Focus on your priorities and make a plan for the day.
- Focus on the problems you can influence and build a plan to resolve them.
- Avoid stress triggers.
- Schedule some downtime. Every day, set aside some time to relax and breathe deeply.
- Exert thankfulness. Being grateful to others can make you feel less stressed.
Get quality sleep
Getting less than six hours of sleep each night for a few weeks might result in poor sleep quality, which can lead to hypertension. Several conditions, such as sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and general insomnia, can interfere with sleep.
If you frequently have difficulties falling asleep, tell your healthcare provider. Sleep quality can be increased by identifying and treating the problem.
Monitor your blood pressure regularly
You can keep an eye on your blood pressure at home. It can ensure that your lifestyle adjustments and drugs are effective.
It's not necessary to get a prescription to purchase a home blood pressure monitor. Before you begin, discuss home monitoring with your healthcare physician.
Visit your healthcare provider for support
Your doctor could suggest prescription medicines if your blood pressure is extremely high or doesn't drop after making these lifestyle modifications.
They are practical and will enhance your long-term results, particularly if you have additional risk factors. Finding the ideal pharmaceutical mix, though, can take some time.
Talk with your doctor about possible medications and what might work best for you.