Hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, is a condition where systolic and diastolic pressure is too high against your arterial walls, putting strain on the circulation system as well as other organs. High blood pressure that persists increases the risk of heart failure, hemorrhage, cardiogenic shock, and renal disease, mentions The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
Hypertension can be a severe threat to your health, but it can also be managed. There are numerous non-medical ways to bring down blood pressure naturally, including exercising regularly, eating healthy, and losing weight if needed.
However, you should always speak to a doctor online if you’re dealing with a health issue that needs immediate attention.
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01. Exercise to lower blood pressure
Most people with hypertension want to bring their blood pressure down to a healthy range. Regular exercise, which improves the function of your cardiovascular system, is crucial to controlling blood pressure.
The benefits of exercise can be seen in 3 to 4 weeks and include lowered blood pressure, improved circulation, and reduced stress. The American Heart Association recommends moderate-intensity activity each week, like walking, and 75 minutes of intense exercise, like running. Regular exercise helps strengthen and improve the efficiency with which the heart pumps blood, thereby lowering the pressure within the arteries.
02. Pare down your sodium intake
Reducing salt intake may help those with hypertension. Here’s how:
- Swap out processed foods and take-out meals with fresh ones. Processed foods are almost always higher in sodium than fresh food. Try to buy fresh, unprocessed foods or prepare at least some of your meals from scratch. Also, choose fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables instead of canned varieties.
- Read the nutrition label on processed foods to see how high they are in sodium.
- Eat more plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables, that are low in sodium.
- Go easy on the condiments. Restaurant dressings and marinades can add lots of salt to your meal without you even realizing it. Try to find healthier alternatives like olive oil and vinegar for your salads.
- Try spices and herbs instead of adding salt to your food when cooking or eating at home.
- If you often eat out, ask the server about the types of ingredients that are in each dish that you order. Ask if they can prepare a meal without adding salt or other seasonings to it.
- Opt for meats that are naturally low in sodium. These include beef, chicken, pork, and fish. For example, sirloin steak has about 33 milligrams of sodium per 3-ounce serving, whereas a 3-ounce piece of chicken breast has about 65 milligrams of sodium.
03. Cut Down on Alcohol
One of the most common causes of high blood pressure is increased alcohol consumption. Alcohol affects blood pressure due to its effect on the kidneys. When you drink, the kidneys eliminate excess salt and water from your body to make room for the alcohol. This can raise your blood pressure by causing fluid retention in your body.
An article in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research suggests that drinking more than an average of 1.5 drinks a day can raise your blood pressure by about 5 mm Hg (0.2 inches of mercury). And the effect is greater in older adults. As a result, hypertensive individuals who consume alcohol are at a higher risk of heart disease than those who do not consume alcohol. Cutting back on alcoholic beverages may be beneficial if you have high blood pressure. For more updates, visit: https://www.unfoldedmagzine.com/
04. Manage Stress Wisely
Frontier in Psychology research suggests that high blood pressure is exacerbated by stress. Stress can make you feel on edge and out of control. Stress keeps your body in a perpetual state of fight-or-flight. This translates to an increase in heart rate and constriction of blood vessels leading to increased blood pressure. That’s because stress hormone levels surge when you’re stressed, and the response affects the inner lining of your blood vessels.
When you’re stressed, you’re more likely to indulge in high-risk behaviors like excessive drinking or eating unhealthy meals that can elevate your blood pressure.
The good news is that chronic stress can be managed. There are many ways to reduce stress in your life — practicing yoga, meditating, or exercising regularly, for example — but here are two simple ways to get started:
- Listen to calming music: Relaxing music can aid in calming your nervous system. When combined with other blood pressure treatments, it has been proven helpful.
- Take a break: Excessive work hours and stressful work environments have been related to an increased risk of high blood pressure.
05. Cut Back on Caffeine
The first thing most of us do when we wake up is grab a cup of coffee or tea. While it might be the most efficient way to get that caffeine jolt, it’s also a good idea to think about how much caffeine you’re really drinking. Caffeine is a stimulant that can cause your blood pressure to rise.
Caffeinated drinks — coffee, tea, cola, and energy drinks — should form no more than about one-third of your total fluid intake. Clinical experts mention that a cup of black tea contains 75mg of caffeine, compared to an average of around 100mg in a cup of brewed coffee.
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