If you’re experiencing hypertension, the thought of lowering your blood pressure with medicine can be stressful. Thankfully, a few simple lifestyle changes can help you get your blood pressure levels down. Here’s a look at some effective ways to reduce your blood pressure without getting a prescription.
Reduce Body Weight
Weight loss can help your blood vessels work better. Your heart will also pump blood much easier once you lose some weight. Research from 2016 states that a 5% weight loss can help lower and regulate your blood pressure.
Past research also shows a link between losing 17.64 pounds and bringing systolic and diastolic BP down by 8.5 mmHg and 6.5 mmHg, respectively. Complementing your weight loss strategy with exercise will help you see better results.
Speaking of exercising, frequent physical activity can also help you mitigate your blood pressure to safe levels. Regular exercise helps strengthen your heart, allowing it to pump blood more efficiently while lessening the pressure on your arteries.
To help you reduce your blood pressure and have a healthier heart, you can do 150 minutes of moderate workouts weekly. Seventy-five minutes of high-impact exercise per week is also a good idea. The National Walkers’ Health Study also suggests that extra activities can help your blood pressure go much lower.
Have a Healthier & More Balanced Diet
Consuming a good mix of healthy and energizing food is another way you can naturally bring your blood pressure down. If you’re looking for food that’ll help you lower your BP, here’s what we recommend.
What Can I Eat to Lower My Blood Pressure Immediately?
Potassium rids the body of excess sodium and lessens the pressure on your blood vessels. Cutting back on processed food and eating fresher food can help improve the balance of potassium and sodium in your diet.
Some potassium-rich foods include the following:
- Vegetables like leafy greens, tomatoes, and regular or sweet potatoes
- Fruits such as melon, banana, and avocado
- Dairy products like milk and yogurt
- Nuts and seeds
Other than strengthening your bones, calcium can also help your blood pressure reach lower levels. Some studies have seen a link between calcium-rich diets and healthy blood pressure levels. The following foods can help you reduce your BP while increasing your calcium intake:
- Dairy products
- Leafy vegetables like collard greens
Like potassium, magnesium helps ease your blood vessels. However, most of us tend to consume less of this essential mineral. Research has seen a possible link between less magnesium intake and hypertension, but clinical studies have presented ambiguous proof. Despite this, magnesium-rich diets are still recommended for those who want to lower their blood pressure.
Eating the following can help you get more magnesium in your diet:
- Whole grains
Reduce Your Salt Intake
Eating less salt can help you maintain healthy blood pressure, even if the mineral doesn’t affect your BP. The American Heart Association suggests consuming 1,500 mg of sodium per day and not going over 2,300 mg. Fewer packaged or processed foods in your diet is one change you can do to regulate your daily salt intake. You can even follow the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, which contains less salty food.
If you’re thinking about cutting back on salt through the DASH diet, try its low-sodium version. The DASH-Sodium diet has the 1,500 mg limit for sodium and includes the following food:
- Whole grains
- Low-fat dairy
- Nuts and seeds
Consume Fewer Carbohydrates
Several studies have suggested that consuming added sugar is associated with high blood pressure. The Framingham Women’s Health Study found that some of its subjects experienced hypertension after drinking one soda per day. Other researches have also shown that lower blood pressure can result from lessened sugary drink intake.
More than that, refined carbohydrates that turn into sugar can affect your blood pressure. Based on recent studies, low-carb diets are beneficial in maintaining proper blood pressure levels. In a study involving individuals on statin therapy, subjects on a low-carb diet had better blood pressure levels than those consuming more carbohydrates. The research also reported that those on low-carb diets reduced their risk for showing signs of heart disease.
Cut Back On Alcohol
16% of global hypertension cases are caused by alcohol. Drinking moderately can help you bring your blood pressure down and avoid being part of that statistic.
U.S. health authorities recommend drinking a glass of alcohol a day for women and two for men. But of course, these standards can be tough to follow. That said, it’s best to reduce your alcohol intake at your own pace.
Smoking can put you at a higher risk for heart disease. Your blood pressure elevates more whenever you smoke. The chemicals in tobacco can also harm and damage your blood vessels.
Breaking one’s smoking habits goes a long way in lowering the risk of heart disease, hypertension, and other health complications. Cutting back on cigarettes until you’re ready to stop smoking can help with breaking the habit.
Bring Down Your Stress Levels
Chronic stress triggers your fight-or-flight reaction. As a result, your heart rate speeds up and your blood vessels contract. Stress can even push you to consume more alcohol and junk food, which inadvertently raises your blood pressure.
If you want to relax and get blood pressure levels down, give these following tips a try.
- Play relaxing music – This type of music can help you ease your nervous system. Additionally, soothing music has been proven to work well with other blood pressure therapies.
- Reduce your workload – Experts have associated excessive work and demanding office environments with hypertension. Take a break from your daily tasks to help you calm down and bring your blood pressure to more manageable levels.
- Meditate or take deep breaths – Whichever you choose, these exercises can stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system. A relaxed body activates the system, resulting in a slow heart rate and reduced blood pressure.
Stand Up While Working
Working from home has made prolonged sitting easier. However, it can harm your overall health. Research suggests that not sitting for too long could help your blood pressure go down, and you can achieve it with healthy habits.
If you’re serious about lowering your BP, you can start by standing every 20 to 30 minutes. Make sure that you’re doing so per hour as well. Or better yet, go for another non-exercise activity such as light walks. These activities can help bring your blood pressure down to healthy levels over time.
Keep Your Blood Pressure Down Naturally
Hypertension shows no signs or symptoms, making it a silent killer. Having a healthier lifestyle can help you manage this condition better while also preventing other complications from messing up your health. Most importantly, you could need less medicine or none at all for lower blood pressure.
Work your way toward a healthier you with the right partner. Get optimal care for a musculoskeletal injury or condition at LifeClinic today.