High blood pressure is a common problem afflicting millions of people worldwide. It is the number one reason for coronary heart disease, obesity and diabetes. An accurate diagnosis of high blood pressure can be made when the readings go above 140/90. Most people resort to medication in order to bring down their blood pressures but there are simpler and more natural ways of bringing the blood pressure under control.
It all starts with a healthy lifestyle. Living a healthier lifestyle will keep your blood pressure down and will negate the need for medication.
Ways To Lower Blood Pressure
Lose Weight And Keep A Strict Watch On Your Waistline
Blood pressure is directly related to the excess pounds you carry on your body. Losing just 10 pounds can help to reduce your blood pressure significantly. Make sure your weight is within the healthy weight range at all times. If you are overweight, take in moderate exercise to shed the extra weight.
Once you lose weight, talk to your doctor about maintaining it. Losing weight will also enhance the efficacy of blood pressure medication if you are taking any. For men a waistline greater than 36 inches and for women a waistline greater than 32 inches poses an imminent risk for developing high blood pressure.
Do not just exercise if your blood pressure is high. You also need to exercise on a regular basis. The more you exercise the fitter and healthier your body will be. Not only will your blood pressure stay under control but you will also be able to successfully ward off coronary heart disease. Make it a point to exercise for at least 40-60 minutes daily to keep high blood pressure at bay.
If your blood pressure is marginally high and remains between 120-139, you can easily bring it down without medication by just doing some vigorous exercise on a daily basis. Ask your doctor the kind of exercises you should be engaging in. You may have to be careful against over exerting yourself especially if you are a heart patient. Do some form of cardio coupled with light strength training for best results.
The key to a healthy lifestyle starts at home and begins from the food you put on your plate. No amount of gymming or exercising can compensate for a poor diet. Eat a diet that is high on grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables. Stay away from fatty foods and sweets, as they are all high on saturated fats and cholesterol, which can aggravate your blood pressure problems. If you find it difficult to monitor what you eat, start keeping track of your daily intake with the help of a food dairy.
A food diary will give you valuable insights on the kind of food that you are consuming. Boost your intake of potassium by eating fruits and veggies. This important mineral negates the effect of sodium on high blood pressure. Become a smart shopper and make a shopping list beforehand. Make sure that you buy only foods that are mentioned on your shopping list. This will prevent you from picking up unhealthy foods from the shelf. You are more likely to pick up foods that you don’t require if you do not have a shopping list on you.
Reduce The Sodium In Your Diet
You also need to cut back on salt in your diet. Eating too much of salt can elevate your blood pressure readings and create problems. Track how much of salt you put in your food. Keep table salt away. Do not eat processed foods, as they are all high on salt.
Read food labels thoroughly before you buy stuff from the shelves, as some of these foods can be dangerously high on salt. Some people cannot tolerate drastic reduction of salt. Just ease into it gradually and cut back little at a time.
Limit The Amount Of Alcohol
Alcohol can be good for your health when taken in moderation. In excess, it is a killer especially for people who are older than 50 years. Alcohol like wine can lower your blood pressure by 2-4 mm hg. If you do not drink alcohol, kudos to you but if you do, you will need to start tapering the amount of alcohol that you consume.
Heavy drinkers will have to cut back gradually as they are likely to suffer from severe side effects. If you drink socially, stick to no more than 1-2 drinks in a week. This will not have an adverse effect on your health. Avoid binge drinking as that can suddenly shoot up your blood pressure.
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The nicotine found in smoke can raise your blood pressure by about 10mm Hg for at least an hour. That means that if you are a heavy smoker, you will be constantly battling high blood pressure throughout the day.
The same goes for passive smoking. Try staying away from people who smoke too many cigarettes.
Cut Back On Caffeine
The effects of caffeine on high blood pressure are debatable at best. If you are not sure, check your blood pressure 30 minutes after you drink a cup of coffee. If the results are high, stay away from the coffee or reduce your intake.
Stress is one huge culprit behind high blood pressure. Cut out all stressors from your life. Resolve conflicts, cut back on working hours and take frequent holidays to reduce stress.
Laugh, be cheerful and stay with warm, happy and positive people. You can also take in some deep breathing exercises that may help you in the long run and actually help to reduce your high blood pressure.
Monitor Blood Pressure
If you have significantly high blood pressure, regular monitoring will help you to gain control over it. This along with lifestyle changes should prove to be beneficial in keeping the blood pressure under control. Seek the help and support of friends and family members who can help you do so. Join a support group to stay motivated and follow all the above lifestyle factors.
With these tips and techniques, you can easily keep high blood pressure at bay and will not need unnecessary blood pressure medication.