High blood pressure is a fairly common condition that affects lots of adults. It occurs when the blood flow rate through the vein occurs at pretty high pressure.
Many times, high blood pressure could lead to other serious health issues if not detected early. There are no visible symptoms at times, making it a terrible illness. As a result, one needs to get checked regularly, especially for people who have a history of hypertension in the family.
One can lower high blood pressure in many ways. It is possible to control high blood pressure through medication, lifestyle changes, and other means. This article will explore six practical ways to control high blood pressure.
Consider Taking Medication
One can employ a series of medications to reduce high blood pressure. There are antihypertensive drugs like beta-blockers, vasodilators, etc., that can reduce high blood pressure. However, ensure to talk to your health care practitioner to recommend the best medication to treat high blood pressure.
Medications combined with various lifestyle changes can help control high blood pressure. Triazide medication can also help treat mild to moderate high blood pressure.
Consume Less Salt
Many people’s salt consumption rate is too much, even without realizing it. The ideal daily intake of salt for everyone is 2,300 mg per day, while those with high blood pressure should restrict it to 1.500 mg per day. However, the American Heart Association reveals that many people consume up to 3,400 mg per day.
Even the tiniest reduction in sodium intake can improve heart health and bring down blood pressure for hypertensive patients. Some recommended tips are:
- Concentrate on low sodium or low-fat foods and beverages
- Reduce processed foods. Prepackaged and processed foods might have up to 70% sodium.
- Consider salt substitutes like spices, herbs, garlic, and other seasonings.
Get Regular Exercise
The benefits of exercise cannot be overemphasized. In addition to eating right, one needs optimum workout for healthy living and reduced fats. Medical experts advise people to have at least 30 minutes of exercise thrice a week.
Such a habit can have a dramatic effect and reduce blood pressure. The good news is that you need not restrict yourself to the gym. Your exercise plan can be as simple as taking a walk, running, gardening, using the stairs, etc.
Whatever gets your heart rate up, even dancing, riding your bike, etc., is recommended.
Reduce Alcohol Intake
Moderate consumption of alcohol can benefit the heart immensely, according to research. In the same way, excessive intake of alcohol can affect and spike blood pressure.
The sugar and calorie content of alcohol makes it bad for the heart. It increases body fat, which supports high blood pressure. For people who cannot stay away from alcohol, you are better off limiting it to two cups per day or one cup for women, as advised by the American Heart Association.
People on medication to treat high blood pressure to stay away from alcohol.
Stress and high blood pressure go hand in hand. People who handle stress by smoking, binge eating, or consuming alcohol might deal with high blood pressure.
Many things cause stress like family, work, relationships, economy, etc. When you pinpoint the source of stress, look for ways to deal with it. Here are a few ways to eliminate stress:
- Try yoga or meditation by engaging your breath to reduce stress
- Guided meditation will go a long way to calm your nerves
- Be grateful for the things in your life
- Reduce, limit or change your expectations
- Make time for activities you enjoy like watching movies, time out with your friends, etc.
- Consider spending time with a pet. Simply stroking their fur or playing with a pet can calm your nerves
- Spend time in an area with a large expanse of greenery.
Ensure you have a stress-coping mechanism that works for you. Such a habit can go a long way to calm your nerves without spiking your blood pressure.
Concentrate on a Healthy Diet
Your meal should be rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, etc., to reduce blood pressure. In the same way, stay away from cholesterol and saturated fats as such food items support high blood pressure. Also known as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), a diet can reduce hypertension by 11 mm Hg.
Here are recommended tips to adjust your diet.
- Have a good diet. Keep tabs on what you eat, the quantity, and the time. In other words, write down what you eat for a week. This can let you know the constituents of your meals and help you understand your eating habits.
- Boost Potassium Intake: Since excess sodium supports high blood pressure, consider using potassium to counter the effect of sodium. Ideally, go for foods high in potassium like fruits and vegetables, not supplements.
- When shopping as well, ensure you concentrate on food labels. This way, you can stick to healthy meals even when you have to eat outside.
In rare cases, the blood pressure might rise as high as 180/120. This excessively high pressure can damage the nerves and various body organs. People in this category need to seek medical help as soon as possible. However, the recommended tips above are lifestyle changes worth considering. They can go a long way to help reduce blood pressure and keep it within a reasonable limit.