7 WAYS TO CONTROL YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE WITHOUT MEDICATIONS
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Elevated blood pressure, or hypertension, is a common medical condition affecting one in every three people around the globe. Having high blood pressure can cause irreversible damage to your blood vessels and organs.
Many medications are available to treat high blood pressure, however, changing some life habits can be very effective in treating the condition. This means that if you change a few habits and adopt a couple of new ones, you might be able to avoid needing medications for the time being.
What exactly is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure is defined as having a resting arterial blood pressure of more than 120/80 mmHg. Simply put, hypertension is when the pressure inside your vessels is higher than normal, meaning that the blood is pressing harder against your vessels, leading to their damage in the long term. Most people do not experience any specific symptoms, and the condition might not be diagnosed until it’s too late. It is for this reason that some authors call hypertension “the silent killer”.
Some symptoms of high blood pressure include:
- Blood in your urine
As we said earlier, changing your lifestyle can help you get your blood pressure under control. Here are some things you can do to naturally lower your blood pressure without medications:
1. Exercise more
Doctors usually recommend 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day to maintain a healthy level of activity. Exercising regularly, say 3-4 times a week, can help lower your blood pressure by 5 to 8 mmHg.
Moreover, exercise can help you maintain a healthy heart and brain, and reduce the risk of developing many serious conditions like obesity, diabetes, strokes, and others. So if you’re not already doing it, get up and get moving. You can choose from a wide variety of aerobic exercises like jogging, walking, cycling, or swimming. Make sure your routine is consistent because if you stop, your blood pressure will go back up again.
2. Lose the extra weight
Whether by diet, exercise, or preferably both, losing the extra weight can be very effective in lowering your blood pressure. Research has shown that each extra kilogram you lose would approximately decrease your blood pressure by 1 mmHg. This means that if you manage to lose 5 kilograms this month, your blood pressure will go down by 5 mmHg.
Moreover, being overweight or obese is by itself a risk factor for several other conditions like diabetes and heart disease. So, by losing weight you will probably be able to put your blood pressure under control while protecting your body from all the ill effects of obesity.
3. Put your diet in check
A healthy diet is essential for a healthy body. This also applies to blood pressure. There are various diets that can help reduce blood pressure. One of the most recommended diets to lower blood pressure is called the “DASH diet”. Research has shown that following this diet can reduce your blood pressure by up to 11 mmHg. The diet mainly entitles the following:
- More fruits and vegetables
- Opting for whole-grain foods
- Avoiding foods rich in saturated fats
- More lean meats, nuts, and low-fat dairy products
It would be helpful if you consult with a healthcare professional to set a diet plan and follow your progress.
4. Easy on the salt
Table salt mainly consists of sodium. You might already know that the more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure gets. The opposite is true as well; limiting your salt consumption can lower your blood pressure by as much as 6 mmHg.
Fast foods and processed foods are rich in sodium, so it might be wise to avoid these as much as possible. By doing so, and by taking it easy with the salt shaker and just eating your food as it is, you can control your blood pressure and protect your heart and vessels.
5. If you smoke, quit
We know it’s easier said than done, however, we have to say it again: smoking harms nearly every organ in your body and is a cause of hypertension, and you should quit as soon as possible. Smokers are at higher risk of developing heart disease and strokes, and usually, don’t live as long as non-smokers.
In addition to all the devastating health issues associated with smoking, every cigarette you smoke raises your blood pressure for several minutes after you stop. This can be especially harmful to heavy smokers, so consider quitting to improve your overall health and reduce your blood pressure.
6. Limit your caffeine consumption
Research is conflicting regarding the role of caffeine in increasing blood pressure in regular drinkers. Nevertheless, if you don’t consume much coffee, drinking caffeinated beverages can increase your blood pressure by 5 to 10 mmHg. So, if you’re a coffee fan, try measuring your blood pressure around half an hour after your drink and see if it’s up. If it is, then coffee might be one of the things that trigger an increase in your blood pressure and you might need to limit its consumption.
With your job and increasing life responsibilities, how can you not be stressed? The problem is, chronic stress can raise your blood pressure and might be a cause underlying your hypertension. Reducing stress by finding suitable relievers would improve your overall physical and mental health, and help you control your blood pressure.
Each person might relieve their stress in a different way. Yoga, meditation, acupuncture, listening to music, reading, walking, and breathing exercises are a few of many activities that you could adopt to reduce your stress levels. You just need to find the thing that soothes your mind and helps you relax and try to incorporate it into your daily routine.
High blood pressure can sometimes be hard to manage, however, leaving it untreated can be destructive to the body. By adjusting your diet, exercising, and taking more time to relax, you might be able to control your blood pressure and reduce your need for drugs or eliminate it altogether. Remember though, never stop taking any medications without talking to your doctor first!
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