When it comes to hypertension, there are a couple of things you can’t control such as your age, genetics, and ethnicity. On the flip side, however, there are a lot of things you can do right now to avoid a hypertension diagnosis or to help lower your blood pressure.
The following six tips we put together for you are easy to follow, and they’re all-natural:
1. Lose weight
It’s no secret that overweight people have a higher risk of suffering from hypertension and developing heart disease as well as diabetes. Losing a few pounds counts for a lot when you are already hypertensive. In fact, losing just 10 pounds can significantly reduce your blood pressure.
2. Exercise regularly
Engaging in regular physical activity is one of the biggest favors you can do your body. It not only helps in weight loss and reducing blood pressure, but it also strengthens your cardiovascular system and immune system.
3. Eat a balanced diet
Exercise and weight loss can only get you so far if your daily food intake is inherently unhealthy. If you want to follow a diet to prevent hypertension, consider the following healthy eating tips:
Avoid or control your sodium intake. This entails avoiding processed foods, fast food, and junk food.
Cut out refined carbs and added sugar. As much as possible, avoid store-bought or mass-produced bread and pastries. Also, be on the lookout for hidden sugar in a lot of supermarket products. Prioritize eating fresh, whole foods.
Boost your potassium intake. Aside from bananas and dates, the list of naturally potassium-rich foods includes leafy greens, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, avocados, oranges, milk and yogurt, tuna, salmon, beans, nuts, and seeds.
Read the nutrition information on product packaging. Watch out for high-sodium and sugar ingredients in the food you buy at the supermarket, and stick to a healthy diet to prevent hypertension.
4. Avoid alcohol and tobacco products
You can still drink moderately if you can’t quit alcohol altogether. Keeping to one glass of red wine per day is fine to harness its blood pressure-reducing benefits; anything more can increase your blood pressure. As for tobacco products, quitting is the only way as smoking increases your blood pressure after each session. It should be noted, too, that quitting smoking has cardiovascular benefits and will improve your health in general.
5. Manage stress
Stress is a part of life; but if you are chronically stressed, it can greatly increase your risk of developing hypertension. Your blood vessels constrict when you are stressed, thereby leading to a temporary increase in blood pressure. You can also end up developing unhealthy habits such as overeating, excessive alcohol intake, and inadequate sleep when you are unable to manage stress.
Find ways to relax or soothe yourself, such as through meditation, soothing music, affirmations, and learning to avoid stress triggers. Also, see if you can work less or improve your time management skills as work is a common source of stress.
6. Monitor your blood pressure
If you are at a high risk of developing hypertension or are working on reducing your blood pressure, home monitoring would be useful on top of your physical exams with your doctor. Moreover, encouraging results will help you stick to your healthy lifestyle changes.
Your health is in your hands
Hypertension is a highly preventable medical condition. If you already have it, you can also manage it by making a few lifestyle modifications designed to reduce blood pressure.
What’s great about these tips is that they not only address your blood pressure concerns, but they also contribute to overall health and wellbeing.