Five Ways to Keep Blood Pressure Under Control
If your blood pressure is greater than 140/90 mmHg, you are at a higher risk of serious illnesses such as stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, etc. You can keep your blood pressure under control by making a few changes to your lifestyle. In fact, by switching to a healthier routine, you may even be able to avoid the need for medication.
Here are five lifestyle changes you can make, no matter what your age, which will help keep your blood pressure under control.
Working out regularly will help substantially lower your blood pressure. Even a brisk walk for 30 to 60 minutes every day could show considerable effect. By exercising regularly, you could reduce the risk of developing full-blown hypertension as well.
Talk to your physician about developing an exercise regime. If you haven’t been leading an active lifestyle, even moderate activity, such as light stretching or walking, can be helpful. Avoid the temptation of remaining inactive during the weekdays and working out during just the weekends. This could cause more harm than good.
Reduce Sodium Consumption
Sodium is one of the prime causes of high blood pressure. Reducing the amount of sodium you consume will have a positive impact on your health, even if there is a family history of high blood pressure. Avoid packaged and processed foods such as bacon, frozen chicken nuggets and French fries.
Try substituting salt with other herbs and spices such as lime, pepper, garlic, etc. Keep a record of the amount of sodium you are consuming in a day. If possible, look for low-sodium versions of the foods you usually buy.
Limit Alcohol Intake
Alcohol consumption can be both good and bad for your health. Even though small amounts can help reduce blood pressure, the protective effect is lost if you drink too much. If you don’t normally drink alcohol, you shouldn’t start drinking just to lower your blood pressure either.
The potential harm greatly outweighs potential benefits. If you are a heavy drinker, suddenly stopping could cause severely high blood pressure. With the help of your doctor, taper off slowly over two or three weeks.
Avoid Cigarettes And Other Tobacco Products
The nicotine present in tobacco products could significantly increase blood pressure for more than an hour after smoking. If you are a chain smoker, your blood pressure will constantly be up throughout the day, putting you at a higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
In addition to quitting tobacco, you should also stay away from other people who smoke. Secondhand smoke, or passive smoking, can increase blood pressure as well.
Take Time Out To Relax
Reducing stress is a great way of controlling blood pressure. Figure out the causes of your stress, such as family, work or finances, and think about ways in which you can reduce your stress levels. Reducing the amount of time you spend at the office could help reduce hypertension.
Working too much also makes it hard to follow a healthy diet and exercise. If you can’t eliminate your stressors, learn to cope with them by taking up meditation, learning breathing exercises, etc. You may also consider professional counselling.
Courtesy: Uncover Discover