Controlling Your Blood Pressure Naturally
In order to preserve your health and prevent calamities associated with high blood pressure such as stroke and heart attack, it is important to get your hypertension under control. For some, medications are absolutely necessary to keep blood pressure in check, but there are a lot of things that you can do to lessen your need for blood pressure medication or improve your blood pressure without medication. The following are ten steps that you can take to improve your cardiovascular health through simple lifestyle changes.
Lose Weight to Control Blood Pressure
Body fat percentage has a strong correlation with elevated blood pressure. For one thing, adipose fat deposits, which tend to build up around the stomach, hips, and thighs, affect hormone balance in a way that increases blood pressure. Furthermore, men and women that are overweight are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea and poor sleep, which further exacerbates normal cardiovascular patterns.
If you are overweight, simply dropping ten pounds can have a significantly positive effect on your blood pressure. Are you at risk for elevated blood pressure due to weight? The rule of thumb is that women with a waist larger than thirty-five inches are at risk, and for men, over forty inches. Risk increases with increased size.
Exercise More to Lower Blood Pressure
Ideally, a combination of eating better and increasing physical activity are a 1-2 punch to both lose weight and improve blood pressure. Consistent physical activity is key to controlling blood pressure. We recommend at least a half an hour of activity that boosts your heart rate per day. Some great options for improving cardiovascular health are dancing, swimming, biking, jogging, walking, or lifting weights. Do what ever makes you happy and works for you! Exercise works both for people that have hypertension and those that want to help get their hypertension under control.
Eat Better to Improve Cardiovascular Health
The modern diet does no favors for the heart. If you want to get your blood pressure under control, we recommend significantly reducing your intake of cholesterol and saturated fat while increasing your consumption of low-fat dairy, veggies, fruits, and whole grains. If you're interested in a more specific diet plan, the DASH Diet is considered the best diet plan available for controlling hypertension and modulating blood pressure.
Eat Less Salt for Hypertension
Salt has a nasty way of making your blood pressure issues worse. Though there is some contention whether salt intake is a root cause of hypertension, it certainly exacerbates existing problems, potentially to a dangerous degree. Dropping your salt intake just a little can have big benefits for your health.
One of the best ways to reduce your sodium consumption is to start eating more natural foods or simply to start cooking more for yourself. Packaged foods are often loaded with salt to mask reduced food quality and flavor, so you can avoid a lot of salt that way. Also, consider other options to add taste to your food, such as pepper and other spices and herbs.
Finally, understand that the modern palate has grown accustomed to abnormally high levels of salt and other cheap flavorings. If you're having trouble ditching the salt quickly, slowly reduce the amount of salt in the foods that you eat, and in no time you'll find that your palate has become more refined and your need for salt will have diminished significantly.
Drink Less for Better Blood Pressure
Alcohol is a double-edged sword when it comes to hypertension. Very moderate drinking can be beneficial, but anything more than two drinks per day (one drink per day for people over sixty-five), and the effect is reversed. If you're having issues with your blood pressure and you are a heavy drinker, finding a way to drink less or stop drinking altogether may be a literal life-saver. It's also important to realize that drinking while taking certain medications for Hypertension can limit the benefits of these drugs.
Stop Smoking to Relieve Hypertension
Smoking has numerous awful effects on your health and wellness, beyond yellow teeth, coughing, and pulmonary issues. Smoking has a direct impact on blood pressure. Blood pressure elevates immediately after you finish a cigarette and continues for quite awhile afterward. When you give up smoking altogether, you'll have healthier and more stable blood pressure, which reduces your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other potentially fatal health issues which reduce your life expectancy.
Reduce Caffeine Intake to Regulate Blood Pressure
There are still a lot of unanswered questions when it comes to the connection between blood pressure and caffeine. It appears that caffeine has its strongest notable effect on blood pressure when people that don't consume a lot of caffeine suddenly do. If you, like so many Americans, have a strong dependency on caffeine, consumption has a minimal impact on blood pressure.
It may be best to use a blood pressure device for yourself to see how caffeine impacts your blood flow. If, in the half hour after taking in caffeine, you see an increase in blood pressure, you should scale back your caffeine consumption. It appears that some people have a caffeine sensitivity, while others don't. It's best to talk to your physician about caffeine and your personal health.
Mitigate Stress to Improve Blood Flow
Everyone has stress. It's part of being human - alive even. It's important to react the right way to stress, however. Many grab a cigarette or a beer when they're anxious. Others seek comfort in unhealthy food. Unfortunately, all of these things are bad for your blood pressure. Use stress as an opportunity to engage in good habits. Exercise and journal-keeping both have a positive impact on stress levels and mental state, for example. Take time to meditate, start practicing yoga, or simply set aside a time in your day to engage in quiet, peaceful, mindful thinking.
Track Your Blood Pressure to Know Your Triggers and Help Your Doctor Keep You Healthy
There are lots of things that you can do to help keep your blood pressure in the healthy range, as we've mentioned above, but taking the time to periodically monitor your own blood pressure can be the best thing that you can do to get a handle on your heart. That way, you can see the benefits of your healthy lifestyle changes and also recognize certain factors that relate to hypertension. Armed with this information, you are a more informed patient, which will help you get the best possible care from your doctor during your checkups.
Get a Little Help From Your Friends to Improve Cardiovascular Health
Going along can make it very difficult for some people to manage their blood pressure and other health issues in their lives. Reaching out to friends and family and letting them know about your goals can help. Having someone that's concerned for you, or willing to exercise with you or have a healthy dinner with you, can help a ton!
There are also support groups available across the country to help people just like you improve your health and wellness. You can join a support group which specifically revolves around hypertension, or any number of groups that can help you uplift your lifestyle!