High blood pressure patients may worry that they have to always be under medication to control their condition. However, a healthy lifestyle is a key to maintaining a healthy blood pressure level. You might be surprised to find that you may have less need for medication to control your blood pressure by just living a healthy lifestyle, among other home remedies. Continue reading to get to know some of the simple approaches to help you control high blood pressure.
1. Regular Exercise
Frequent exercise is critical in controlling your blood pressure. Try to exercise for at least 150 minutes per week. You must also be consistent in your exercise, since stopping may lead to a rise in blood pressure. Simple activities like jogging, walking, cycling, or swimming can help control your blood pressure. Some of these exercises may be your hobbies or, if not, try to embrace them and stick to them.
2. Embracing a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and low-fat foods is vital in controlling your blood pressure. Creating a healthy meal plan is an excellent way to help manage your blood pressure. It may be challenging to keep track of healthy eating, especially if you have been recently diagnosed with hypertension. These three tips may help you quickly adapt to healthy eating.
- Increase your potassium intake since it reduces the negative impact of dietary sodium
- Maintain a meal diary
- Be very careful when shopping and read food labels on every pack
3. Avoid Smoking
Every cigarette you smoke elevates your blood pressure a few minutes after smoking. If you manage to quit smoking completely, you will help maintain normal blood pressure. Quitting not only helps in controlling hypertension but also decreases the risks of heart diseases and generally improves your health.
4. Reduce Stress
Persistent high stress is correlated with an increase in blood pressure levels. We can also link stress to harmful reactions. For example, a patient who reacts to stress by eating unhealthy foods or drinking alcohol may increase their blood pressure. You can monitor your stress by:
- Relaxing and doing fun activities that you enjoy: Taking some time off from your daily routine is important to help you relax. You may include your hobbies in your daily schedule to help you refresh your mind.
- Avoiding stress triggers: An example is when you are late for work, and there is traffic. You can prevent such triggers by planning early and keeping track of time to avoid being in a rush which you end up stressing about.
- Trying to change your expectations: Understand that there are some things you don’t have control over and focus on your priorities.
- Focusing on issues that you can fully control. In case you are fighting with your boss at work, your kids or your spouse at home, try to resolve and patch things up. This will help you reduce your stress and even get support from them in fighting high blood pressure.
- Expressing gratitude to others may be a way to help you reduce your stress levels. Be kind and thankful to others, be it your colleagues at work, your employees, or your kids.
5. Reduce Alcohol Intake
Experts suggest that alcohol intake can both be harmful and beneficial in your body. Moderate alcohol consumption in a drink a day for a woman or two drinks for a man is acceptable. One drink is equal to twelve ounces of beer, 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor, and five ounces of wine. This may help reduce high blood pressure if followed strictly. However, excess consumption of alcohol reverses this effect and may also reduce the effectiveness of hypertension medication.
6. Decrease Sodium Intake
Studies have found that even a slight reduction in sodium intake can improve your health and reduce the risk of high blood pressure. You can reduce sodium in your diet by:
- Eating less processed foods
- Avoid adding salt to your food and instead use healthy spices to add flavor
- Reading food labels before making purchases
6. Watch Your Weight
Chances of hypertension increase with an increase in weight. If you already have high blood pressure, try to watch your weight by exercising and maintaining a healthy diet.
7. Reduce Caffeine Intake
The impact of caffeine on blood pressure is still debatable. However, caffeine may cause different reactions from one person to another. Therefore, you must take your blood pressure readings after consuming tea, coffee, sports drinks, or anything else high in caffeine. This will help you identify if your blood pressure is affected by caffeine intake.
8. Follow your Doctor’s Instructions
Be honest with your doctor and follow their instructions. Regular checkups are important for patients with high blood pressure since they monitor your progress and note body changes. Visit your doctor more often to see how you are faring.
If you are under medication to control your blood pressure, it is vital that you take your medicine faithfully while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. A combination of medication and a healthy lifestyle is an excellent way to control blood pressure levels.
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