Control blood pressure naturally with these easy and practical tips
Hypertension or high blood pressure is one of those conditions that can go undiagnosed for quite a long time. As a matter of fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as many 33% Americans suffer from something called “pre-hypertension”. During the pre-hypertensive phase, the blood pressure numbers are higher than normal but still not high enough to be clinically diagnosed as hypertension. Individuals who suffer from pre-hypertension are at significantly higher risk of developing full-blown hypertension. However, there are many simple ways that can help you prevent crossing over to the hypertensive side. Positive lifestyle changes can help you stay healthy and control blood pressure naturally.
Here are some of the easy lifestyle changes that you can make to keep your blood pressure under control.
Lose that extra poundage
Numerous scientific studies have found a very strong correlation of obesity with hypertension. When it comes to the control of blood pressure naturally, nothing is as effective as losing weight. Even losing a mere 10 pounds, can help you control blood pressure naturally.
It’s not just the weight that is the problem, it also matters where you are carrying it. In general, carrying too much weight around your waist is a big red flag when it comes to hypertension.
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), the guidelines for waist circumference are as follows:
- For women, the at-risk number falls to 35 inches.
- For men, the risk of hypertension exponentially increases if the waist circumference is greater than 40 inches.
Get Physical to control blood pressure naturally
There is no alternative of regular physical activity for a good health. Try and get at least 30 minutes of physical activity of some sort. It can be a brisk walking, running, cycling swimming or even dancing! However, when it comes to exercise, regularity is the key. Try to be active as regularly as you can.
You can control blood pressure naturally by reducing it by about 4-9 mm of mercury (mm Hg) by just regularly doing some light physical activity.
Developing a routine is very important. Make sure that you talk to your physician and come up with a schedule of safe exercises that you can do most days of the week.
Diet is the cornerstone of a great health. You have to watch what you are eating, there is no alternative to that. A diet that is rich in fresh fruits and veggies, low in carbs and facts is great if you want to control blood pressure naturally. A good diet can knock off as much as 14 mm of Hg from your blood pressure!
In a milestone research by NIH, introduced a diet plan called the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). This diet plan is designed to prevent and manage hypertension without medications. You can read more about the DASH diet plan in this post.
Although changing your diet sounds simple, it is not that easy. Here are some tips to keep you motivated and on track:
- Keep a food journal: I can’t tell you how much it helped me. Merely jotting down what I was eating made me more aware of my dietary habits. It helped me keep tabs on what and when I was eating. Give it a try, it’s really helpful.
- Shop smartly: Make sure that you are buying healthy stuff. Read labels and make informed choices as to what you buy and eat outside
Cut the salt
Salt is one of the most overused condiment. We eat criminally dangerous proportions of salt in our diet. Salt makes the blood volume increase which causes high blood pressure.
The recommended amount of salt, in terms of sodium, is 2300 mg or less. However, if you are pre-hypertensive, try to limit your salt intake to 1500 mg or less. Here are some tips to cut down the salt intake in your diet to help you control blood pressure naturally:
- Don’t stop salt completely. Sodium is an essential nutrient that is needed by the body. If you stop consuming salt suddenly, you may feel weakness or even a bit dizzy. The key is moderation. Decrease your salt intake gradually over a period of time and stick to it.
- Stop eating potato chips, or similarly packaged snacks. They contain an insanely high amount of salt.
- Avoid adding excess salt to food. Instead, use spices and herbs to make your food more flavorful.
- Avoid processed and canned foods. They use a high amount of salt along with many other preservatives that are really bad for you.
Quit smoking and limit alcohol and caffeine
Smoking can produce a spike in your blood pressure just minutes after you finish a cigarette. Apart from the nasty effects of smoking on the body, it can lead to severe cardiovascular conditions as well. Although, quitting is difficult, but with help, it can be done. Consider your many options to get it done.
Alcohol is something that is not entirely bad for your health. A glass of red wine once a week is actually good for you. However, overdoing it is, of course, a matter of grave concern. Generally speaking, limit the amount of alcohol you are consuming.
Coffee is a great way to start the morning, isn’t it? If you are a habitual coffee drinker, caffeine will not produce a significant spike in your blood pressure. However, if you rarely drink coffee, even a cup can increase your blood pressure by as much as 10 mm of Hg. It is a great idea to check your blood pressure after about 20 minutes after a cup of coffee to determine whether it causes any fluctuations in your blood pressure. If you find that coffee spikes your blood pressure by 5-10 mm of Hg after one cup, you may be sensitive to caffeine and should consider quitting coffee.
Monitor your blood pressure at home
One of the best ways to control blood pressure naturally is by monitoring it regularly at home. Checking your blood pressure at home is very easy and takes less than 5 minutes. There are many blood pressure monitors available on the market to choose from as well.
Keeping a record of your blood pressure readings will help you implement positive lifestyle changes as well. Avoid things that cause fluctuations in your blood pressure. See your doctor on a regular basis. If you are pre-hypertensive, make sure that you visit your doctor at least once or twice a year. Although the doctor may increase the frequency of visitations if your hypertension is not controlled properly.
Something to take home
Hypertension is becoming one of the biggest factors that often leads to many potential life threatening conditions including cardiac arrests and strokes. A healthy lifestyle and understanding the risks goes a long way to keeping it away. Make sure that you pay attention to what you are eating and keep an active lifestyle.
Consider getting a home blood pressure monitor as well. There are many options to choose from and they are available without a prescription. A detailed buying guide can be fond here.
We hope that these tips will help you to control your blood pressure better and live a healthier life. Stay tuned for more tips and interesting articles on health and fitness.