High blood pressure is something we all may suffer from at some stage. While many of us will only experience it in a moment of heightened emotions, others encounter it as a long-term condition. When that happens, those people are suffering from a chronic condition called hypertension.
How to Lower Blood Pressure with Simple Changes
The guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology recently lowered the definition for high blood pressure to 130/80 from 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). This means more people now meet the criteria for stage 1 hypertension. Using a range of simple techniques, you can return your blood pressure to a level where it's safe. If you're looking for ways to make sure your heart beats at the right pressure, let's start exploring your options.
Cut down on sodium
Did you know that a lot of your food already contains sodium without you adding any for flavor? Although this may not be true for all fresh ingredients, junk food and convenience items are already pretty salty. Because of this, we recommend turning to non-salty alternatives. Additionally, you should avoid flavoring your food with extra salt.
Sodium encourages your blood pressure to rise by making your kidneys retain more water. When your kidneys retain more water, your blood volume increases, which in turn makes your heart work harder. If you're looking for alternative ways to flavor your food, try spices or herbs instead.
Deep breathing exercises
Have you ever heard someone say to count to 10 and breathe deeply? Well, they have good reasons for making such suggestions. When you breathe deeply, you activate your Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS). Your PNS then, in turn, widens your blood vessels and slows down your heart rate. The net effect of these actions is that your blood pressure will decrease.
If you're yet to try deep breathing exercises, it's quite simple. Try breathing in slowly for the count of four and then exhale for the count of six. Or, we recommend using meditation apps that will guide you through deep breathing techniques. Once you get used to deep breathing, you can use the techniques you enjoy the most no matter where you are.
Can stress and anxiety cause blood pressure to rise? Anxiety happens when the body releases the hormone, cortisol. This hormone triggers an increase in heart rate and the blood vessels narrow, as a result. Both of these responses in the body can cause blood pressure to rise.
Admittedly, it isn't always possible to take every stressful situation you don't like and kiss it goodbye. But if you can spot an opportunity to step away from a stressful environment, seize it. Stress forces your body to release hormones that raise your blood pressure. Although those hormones prove useful when you can do something to remedy the situation, they'll only make you feel worse otherwise.
How much does stress raise BP?
While it will vary and depend on each individual, multiple studies suggest that anxiety can result in a raise in blood pressure of 10 points or more.
We recommend making a note of what you're doing when you feel stressed at various points throughout the day. When you start to notice a pattern, make a conscious decision to exit those situations when they arise. Although it isn't always possible to do so, doing it some of the time can make a big difference.
Try the 120/Life Drink
At 120/Life, we've created a drink that will help you lower your blood pressure. The tasty natural ingredients that we pack into each bottle can induce many of the blood-pressure-lowering effects of common medications. For example, hibiscus isn't just a pretty flower; it's a natural ACE inhibitor too. This means it blocks some of the hormones that make your blood pressure rise. As ACE inhibitors are first-line defenses against high blood pressure, being able to drink them rather than take them may prove useful for you.
Another key ingredient is beetroot, which is brimming with natural nitrates. Nitrates can widen your blood vessels, which means there's less tension for your heart to beat against. As a result, your blood pressure lowers.
At 120/Life, we're here to help our customers lower their blood pressure now. If you have questions about our drink or you want to complete the 120/Life challenge, call (833) 899-9444.