High blood pressure, often known as hypertension, is a ‘’silent killer’’ that typically goes unnoticed but puts you at risk for a variety of illnesses including heart diseases, stroke, and kidney disease. High blood pressure can be caused by a variety of factors, including age, genetics, dietary intake, and lifestyle.
The good news is that making lifestyle changes can drastically lower your levels and risk without the use of medications.
It is up to you to take control of your situation and reduce your numbers. Here are five pieces of information to assist you on how to control your high blood pressure and avoid future complications.
1. Eat Healthily
The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is a flexible and well-balanced eating plan that can help you control or lower your blood pressure. Other than consuming multivitamins, start eating potassium-rich foods like fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products if you have high blood pressure.
Polyphenols, natural plant components that are excellent for your heart, are abundant in foods like berries.
Dark chocolate can also help to relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure, so don’t be scared to indulge in it occasionally. But changing one’s eating habits does not happen overnight, so keeping a food diary is essential. Even if it’s only for a week, writing down everything you eat might reveal a lot about your genuine eating habits. You are, after all, what you eat.
2. Get Rid Of Those Extra Pounds
Dietary changes such as weight loss can have a significant impact on blood pressure management. In fact, shedding a small amount of weight can help in lowering blood pressure and make you feel better after stepping on the digital weight scale. Losing weight can help your blood arteries expand and contract more easily, making it easier for your heart to pump blood.
In addition to losing weight, keep an eye on your waistline. At the end of the day, it’s best to maintain a healthy waistline recommended by your doctors to reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure.
3. Exercise Regularly
Regular physical activity is another option for lowering high blood pressure. Exercise can aid in the prevention of hypertension. If you have high blood pressure, 30 minutes of physical activity per day or about 2 and a half hours per week can drop your blood pressure by 5 to 8 mm Hg.
Exercise can strengthen your heart and improve your breathing rate. It’s critical to maintain consistency because skipping workouts might raise your blood pressure. Walking, running, and dancing are some of the workouts that might help you lower your blood pressure.
Additionally, it is best to consult with your doctor when it comes to developing an exercise program.
4. Reduce Daily Salt Intake
Salt consumption is high in many parts of the world due to processed and prepared foods. As a result, many public health initiatives are geared at reducing salt consumption in the food business. If you already have high blood pressure, lowering your sodium intake can be worth a try. Substitute fresh foods for manufactured ones and season your foods with herbs and spices rather than salt.
A minor reduction in salt in your diet can enhance your heart health and lower your blood pressure by roughly 5 to 6 mm Hg. Do read food labels too and choose low-sodium alternatives to foods. Take your time to reduce the sodium intake, there’s no need to rush.
5. Quit smoking
Smoking has long been related to many sicknesses including cancer and high blood pressure. Do you know that for many minutes after you finish smoking a cigarette, your blood pressure rises? Over time, the chemical of tobacco can damage your blood vessel walls, causing inflammation and narrowing your arteries.
If you need more reasons, know that smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease. You can avoid this if you stop smoking. Quitting smoking can lower your blood pressure and improve your overall health. Studies on smoking and high blood pressure might be conflicting, but one thing is certain: both raise the risk of heart disease.
Maintaining a healthy blood pressure level is a lifelong commitment. The techniques mentioned above can help you manage your high blood pressure. But there are other options such as home monitoring using a blood pressure monitor and notify your doctor if you have any potential health issues. While the above are general suggestions, it’s critical to speak with your doctor about any changes you need to make.
Different people face different challenges, but with determination and persistence, you can get through them.