If your doctor has diagnosed you with borderline high or high blood pressure it is likely that they have told you that there are certain lifestyle changes that you can make in order to get your blood pressure into the normal range.
Having high blood pressure can be dangerous as it increases your risk of developing heart disease and of having a stroke or a heart attack. When you have high blood pressure your heart has to work harder to pump blood throughout the body. This puts extra strain on the heart muscles and eventually can weaken them, which can result in a heart attack.
If you were diagnosed with high blood pressure you may be prescribed medication to help lower it. However, blood pressure medications come with side effects that can be quite unpleasant. For this reason, it is a good idea to try to lower your blood pressure naturally.
Fortunately, there are several easy lifestyle changes that you can make in order to help lower your blood pressure. Here are 11 daily habits that you can make right now in order to preserve your normal blood pressure.
1. Reduce your Sodium Intake
Sodium has been linked to high blood pressure. For this reason, if you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure one of the first changes that you can make is to lower the amount of sodium in your diet. Salt intake can be lowered by simply eating fresh or frozen vegetables over canned. You can also swap out processed foods for fresh versions and try using other spices and herbs for seasoning your food instead of salt. While there is some question about how much sodium affects blood pressure, it is still a good idea to lower your salt intake to see if it helps.
2. Eat Foods Rich in Potassium
It is important to make sure that you are eating foods that are rich in potassium if you want to lower your blood pressure. Potassium will help your body get rid of sodium, which will ease the pressure on your blood vessels.
The modern diet has increased the number of sodium people are taking in, while lowering the amount of potassium in the diet. Some foods that are particularly high in potassium include leafy green vegetables, tomatoes, bananas, sweet potatoes, and potatoes.
Adding these whole foods to your diet will increase the number of important vitamins and nutrients and lower your risk of developing high blood pressure.
3. Drink Less Alcohol
When you drink alcohol it can cause your blood pressure to go up. Alcohol is linked to roughly 16 percent of high blood pressure cases throughout the world.
There is some research that has shown that drinking a small amount of alcohol may actually be good for the heart, but these benefits are often offset by the negative effects of alcohol. Moderate alcohol intake is defined as drinking more than a single drink per for women and two or more drinks per day for men.
If you drink more than this and have high blood pressure you should cut back.
4. Cut Out Refined Carbs and Sugar
There is a growing number of researches that have shown a link between eating sugar and having high blood pressure.
Sugar and refined carbs such as those found in white flour convert quickly to sugar in the bloodstream and can cause many issues. Not only can eating sugar and refined articles cause you to have high blood pressure, but it can also put you at a higher risk for diabetes and other diseases.
Overall, lowering the amount of sugar and refined carbs from your diet can improve your health in general.
5. Get Regular Exercise
One of the best things that you can do if you have high blood pressure is to make sure to add exercise to your daily schedule. The exercise does not have to be intense.
In fact, taking just a 30-minute brisk walk each day can go a long way to lowering your blood pressure. Exercise helps to make your heart stronger, which in turn means that it is better and more efficient at pumping blood to where it needs to go.
This means that the pressure in your arteries is reduced, and this will improve your health overall.
6. Manage your Stress Levels
If you have a high level of stress it could be the main reason that you have high blood pressure. When you have a lot of stress in your life it makes your body tenser.
This results in a heart rate that is faster and blood vessels that are restricted, putting a great strain on your heart. Learning to manage your stress levels can greatly reduce your blood pressure. Meditation, yoga, and exercise are all good stress relievers that can help.
You may also find that listening to soothing music can also help lower your stress.
7. Lose Weight
If you are overweight you are at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure.
In fact, losing just a few pounds can go a long way to lowering your blood pressure. Losing weight will help your blood vessels of doing a better job of contracting and expanding, which makes it easier for the heart to pump blood throughout the body.
If you are currently overweight, try eating healthier foods and adding exercise to your daily regimen and you can greatly reduce your blood pressure.
8. Quit Smoking
If you are a smoker there are many reasons that you should quit. Smoking is not only hard on your lungs, but it is also hard on your heart.
The chemicals that are found in tobacco are known to damage the blood vessels. While there is no direct link between smoking and high blood pressure that has been found, it is noted that smoking raises the risk of developing heart disease. Quitting smoking can reduce this risk and also improve your health overall.
There are many support groups available to help you quit this habit.
9. Sleep More
Another way that you can easily improve your health is by making sure that you get enough sleep each night. If you do not sleep enough you will constantly feel tired and stressed. When you get plenty of sleep you will be more productive and feel better overall.
There are several reasons that your sleep quality may be impacted including sleep apnea, which is a condition that causes you to wake frequently through the night. If you are having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor about it and see what you can do to improve your sleeping patterns.
This can not only lower your blood pressure but also improve your health overall.
10. Meditation and Deep Breathing Exercises
While mediation and deep breathing are associated with relieving stress, these exercises deserve to be mentioned. Both deep breathing exercises and meditation activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which engages as the body relaxes and will slow down the heart rate and help to lower blood pressure.
Practicing deep breathing techniques or different meditation techniques are recommended for those who suffer from high blood pressure as these relaxation methods can be one of the best ways to lower your blood pressure.