The greatest concern for a person who has received a high blood pressure diagnosis is taking the medicine given in order to bring the numbers down. The good news, however, is that you may not necessarily need to use the medicines all the time. You can make some healthy lifestyle changes that will help in controlling your blood pressure without using medication. They are discussed below.
These Lifestyle changes are recommended to control blood pressure.
- a) Shedding off the extra pounds.
In most cases, increased weight results in increased blood pressure. Sleep apnea also results from being overweight, and it could raise your blood pressure further. Among the most effective natural ways of lowering your blood pressure is shedding the extra weight. Some studies have shown that for every kilogram of weight lost, your blood pressure lowers by about 1 mmHg.
- b) Regular exercise
You are able to control your blood pressure if you exercise regularly. There is no defined period of exercise for the lifestyle changes to take effect. However, most specialists encourage engaging in at least thirty minutes of physical activity at least five days of the week. Exercising regularly also helps to prevent elevated blood pressure levels from developing into hypertension. In the event that you have developed hypertension, it helps you to lower your numbers to a much safer level. Some of the aerobic exercise activities that you can engage in include: cycling, dancing, jogging, walking or swimming. It’s important that you talk to your doctor before you engage in any exercise program.
- c) Eating a healthy and balanced diet
A balanced diet entails a meal that consists of the three food groups and water. Let a balanced diet be part of your lifestyle changes. If you are suffering from high blood pressure, you can adopt the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet meal plan. This diet consists of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables as well as low-fat dairy products. Skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol also help to control your blood pressure levels.
- d) Lower your intake of sodium.
The recommended amount of sodium you can take is 2,300 mg a day or even less. Lowering the amount of sodium that you take helps to reduce your blood pressure. It also helps to improve the health of your heart in general. The following tips are helpful in lowering the amount of sodium in your diet. Always ensure that you read the food labels and pick the low sodium alternatives when you can. Reduce the number of processed foods that you eat. Natural foods normally contain small amounts of sodium. Regulate the amount of salt that you add to your food, only add the salt when it is necessary.
- e) Lower the amount of alcohol that you take
Alcohol has both positive and negative effects on your health. Among the lifestyle changes, avoiding alcohol is the best. If taken in moderation, it can help in lowering your blood pressure. The recommended intake is a single drink for women and a couple of drinks for men. However, this protective effect is lost if you consume too much of it.
Taking more than the recommended amount exposes you to the risk of increased blood pressure. On top of that, too much consumption of alcohol reduces the effectiveness of the medication for controlling blood pressure. Alcohol lifestyle changes could have the best outcome if implemented well.
- f) Avoid/quit smoking
Smoking cigarettes increase your blood pressure. It takes a while for the blood pressure to go back to normal after smoking. If you quit smoking, you are not only able to control your blood pressure, but it also helps to reduce your risk of getting heart disease. These kinds of lifestyle changes in turn improve the length and the quality of your life.