10 ways to control high blood pressure (BP) naturally
If you have high blood pressure, you may be wondering if medication is required to lower the readings. However, lifestyle choices are critical in the treatment of high blood pressure. Blood pressure control through a healthy lifestyle may prevent, delay, or lessen the need for medication.
Here are ten lifestyle adjustments that can help you lower and maintain your blood pressure.
Table of Contents
1. Lose some weight and keep an eye on your waistline
Blood pressure frequently rises as weight rises. Being overweight can also result in interrupted breathing while sleeping (sleep apnea), which elevates blood pressure even further.
Losing weight is one of the best things you can do for your health, and it can have a dramatic effect on your blood pressure. If you are overweight or obese, even decreasing a small amount of weight can help lower your blood pressure. In general, losing one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of weight reduces blood pressure by roughly one millimeter of mercury (mm Hg).
The size of the waistline is also essential. Carrying excess weight around the waist can raise the risk of hypertension.
If a man’s waistline is more than 40 inches, he is at risk (102 centimeters).
For women, the danger begins with a waistline of more than 35 inches (89 centimeters).
These figures differ depending on ethnic background. Inquire with your doctor about a healthful waist measurement for you.
2. Reduce your intake of salt (sodium).
Even a slight reduction in sodium intake can enhance heart health and lower blood pressure by 5 to 6 mm Hg.
The effect of sodium consumption on blood pressure differs among people. Limit sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams (mg) or less per day. For most adults, a daily salt intake of 1,500 mg or less is recommended.
To minimize sodium intake:
- Examine food labels. Try to eat and drink things that contain as little salt as possible.
- Reduce your intake of processed foods. Natural foods contain very little salt. The vast majority of sodium is brought in during the manufacturing process.
- Don’t season with salt. To add flavor to meals, use herbs or spices.
- Cook. With some careful preparation, you can control how much salt goes into your meals.
3. Put an end to your smoking
Cigarette smoking raises blood pressure. Quitting smoking lowers blood pressure.
It can also lower the risk of heart disease and enhance overall health, potentially resulting in longer life.
4. Limit your alcohol intake.
Limiting alcohol consumption to less than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for males can reduce blood pressure by roughly 4 mm Hg.
One drink is equal to 12 oz. of beer, 5 oz. of wine, or 1.5 oz. of 80-proof liquor.
However, excessive alcohol consumption can cause blood pressure to rise by several points.
It can also make blood pressure drugs less effective.
5. Get a decent night’s rest.
Sleep deprivation (less than six hours of sleep every night for several weeks) can contribute to hypertension. Sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and general restlessness are all conditions that can impair sleep (insomnia).
Inform your doctor if you frequently have difficulties sleeping. Finding and treating the source of the problem will help you sleep better. If you don’t suffer from sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome, though, try these simple sleep-improvement strategies.
- Maintain a consistent sleep routine. Maintain a regular sleep-and-wake schedule. You should make an effort to maintain a consistent weeknight and weekend routine.
- Make a relaxing environment. This includes keeping the sleeping area cold, quiet, and dark. In the hour before bedtime, do something soothing. Among these options are a warm bath and some yoga stretches. Stay away from screens, especially those that emit a lot of light.
- Keep an eye on your dietary intake. Don’t sleep hungry or stuffed. Eat light dinners and avoid heavy ones before bed.
- Naps should be limited. Limiting naps to 30 minutes early in the day may benefit people who find napping during the day beneficial.
6. Reduce your stress.
Long-term (chronic) emotional trauma may contribute to hypertension. More research is needed to determine whether stress reduction approaches help lower blood pressure.
However, it can’t hurt to figure out what generates stress, such as work, family, economics, or illness, and then figure out how to deal with it. Consider the following:
- Try not to take on too much. Plan your day and prioritize your tasks. Understand how to say no. Allow enough time to complete the tasks at hand.
- Concentrate on issues over which you have control and devise solutions. Speak with a manager about a problem at work. Find techniques to resolve conflicts with your children or spouse.
- Stay away from stressors. Travel at a different time or utilize public transportation, for example, if rush-hour traffic creates stress. If possible, avoid persons who are stressful.
- Make time to unwind. Make sure you’re giving yourself time every day to meditate. Make time for fun activities or hobbies like walking, cooking, and volunteering.
- Exercise thankfulness. Gratitude for others might help relieve stress.
7. Use a home blood pressure monitoring system and schedule regular checks.
Keeping an eye on your blood pressure with a home monitor is a great idea. It can ensure that your medications and lifestyle adjustments are effective.
The use of a home blood pressure monitor is common and does not require a doctor’s prescription. Before you begin, consult with a healthcare practitioner regarding home monitoring.
Keeping up with doctor’s appointments is also essential for blood pressure management. Check with your doctor about how often you should take your blood pressure if you have it under control. Depending on your schedule, you may only be able to check it once a day.
8. Maintain a nutritious diet.
A diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products, as well as low in saturated fat and cholesterol, can reduce high blood pressure by up to 11 mm Hg. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and the Mediterranean diet are two examples of eating programs that can help reduce blood pressure.
Potassium in the diet can help to reduce the effects of sodium (salt) on blood pressure. Foods, such as fruits and vegetables, are better suppliers of potassium than supplements. Aim for 3,500 to 5,000 mg per day to reduce blood pressure by 4 to 5 mm Hg. Inquire with your doctor about how much potassium you should consume.
9. Regular exercise is essential
Exercising regularly can reduce high blood pressure by roughly 5 to 8 mm Hg. It is critical to continue exercising to keep blood pressure from increasing again. Keep up a daily routine of at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise.
Exercise can also help prevent high blood pressure from developing from higher blood pressure (hypertension). People with hypertension can lower their blood pressure to safe levels by engaging in regular physical activity.
Walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, and dancing are some forms of aerobic exercise that can help decrease blood pressure. High-intensity interval training is another option. Short bursts of intense effort are alternated with periods of lighter activity in this style of training.
Strength training can also help lower blood pressure. Aim for at least two days each week of strength training workouts. Consult with your doctor about starting an exercise regimen.
10. family and friends are important.
Family and friends who are supportive are essential for healthy health. They may encourage you to take care of yourself, drive you to the doctor’s office, or start an exercise program with you to keep your blood pressure under control.
You might think about joining a support group if you feel that you need help beyond what you can get from your loved ones. This may put you in contact with people who can give you an emotional or morale boost as well as practical advice on how to deal with your disease.
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