Tips for Managing High Blood Pressure
If you have been diagnosed with hypertension, you may consider taking medication to reduce the numbers. However, behavioral choices can play a significant role in handling your blood pressure. If you can effectively control your blood pressure using a fit lifestyle, you may be able to avoid, reduce, or delay the necessity for medication.
Here are tips for lowering and maintaining low blood pressure:
1. Lose Additional Pounds
Blood pressure increases with weight. Obesity can also cause breathing problems during sleep, which further increases blood pressure.
Weight loss is among the most effective routine changes to control blood pressure. Typically, with every pound of weight you lose, you can reduce your blood pressure readings by around 1 mmHg.
2. Exercise Frequently
Regular exercises for around 150 minutes a week, as recommended by the NHS, can help to reduce blood pressure by approximately 5 to 8 mmHg. It is important to exercise regularly, because when you stop working out, your blood pressure may rise again. If your blood pressure is high, exercise can prevent the development of hypertension.
Some samples of aerobic exercise that you can try to lessen your blood pressure are jogging, walking, cycling, dancing, or swimming. You may also try intensive interval training. It involves alternating short, intense bursts of activity with subsequent recovery phases with less activity. Weight training can also help lower your blood pressure. The goal is to do strength exercises at least twice a week. Discuss with your doctor about developing a training program.
3. Eat Healthily
Eating plenty of nutritionally rich foods, such as fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, vegetables, and avoiding saturated fats and cholesterol will also have a beneficial effect on blood pressure levels. This plan is referred to as the DASH diet.
4. Reduce Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol can be both healthy and harmful. If you drink moderate amounts of alcohol – usually one drink for women or two for men in a day – you can reduce your blood pressure by around 4 mmHg. However, studies have shown that consuming more than a moderate amount of alcohol can raise blood pressure, and might also lower the effectiveness of hypertension medication.
5. Quit Smoking
Every cigarette you smoke raises your blood pressure for a long time after you are done. When you stop smoking, your blood pressure will get back to normal. Quitting smoking can lessen the possibility of heart problems and improve general health.
6. Reduce Caffeine
The role of caffeine in hypertension is still not fully understood, but it seems to raise blood pressure by 10 mmHg in individuals who rarely use it. However, in individuals who drink coffee frequently, caffeine seems to have little influence on blood pressure levels.
To determine if caffeine increases your blood pressure, check it within 30 minutes of consuming a caffeinated drink. When your blood pressure rises by 5-10 mmHg, you can be sensitive to the side effects caused by the caffeine. Discuss with a specialist about these side effects.
7. Reduce Stress
According to studies, chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure, although further research is required to determine the exact impact. Accidental stress can also lead to high blood pressure in case you respond to stress with junk food, alcohol, or smoking.
Take the time to think about why you feel stressed, like family, work, illness, or finances. If you know what causes your stress, think about how to reduce or eliminate it.
In conclusion, it is advisable to follow your doctor’s advice on possible behavioral changes and medication needed to control and lower your risk of hypertension.