High blood pressure depends mainly on the lifestyle a person is living. If a person have systolic pressure 140 or above and diastolic pressure 90 or above then this issue needs attention as the blood pressure is high. Seeking medical help urgently is advised in this condition to stabilize the blood pressure. However, there are many things you can do to lower your blood pressure. Below are some lifestyles changes discussed which helps you in decreasing the high blood pressure and also stabilize it.
How to Lower Blood Pressure
1. Lose Weight
It is seen that usually obese people have high blood pressure. There is a direct proportionality between blood pressure and weight. The more weight a person loses will result in a more stabilized blood pressure. It is a fact that losing weight also makes the blood pressure medications work more effectively. It is important to keep an eye on your waist line as too much weight around it can put you in a risk of having high blood pressure.
2. Practice Exercises Regularly
Every doctor advises to do exercise daily as it offer several benefits including lowering the blood pressure. Doing exercise daily for 30 - 60 min can decrease the blood pressure by 4 – 9 mm Hg. So if you are not an exercise person then activate it and discuss with you trainer or doctor about exercise program best for you. Sometimes medium exercise for ten minutes like walking or light strength exercise can help a lot.
3. Keep a Healthy Diet
Add foods like fruits, vegetable, whole grains and dairy products with low fat in your daily diet and cut off saturated fats and high cholesterol foods from your diet. Healthy diet is known as DASH (dietary approaches to stop Hypertension) and it helps in decreasing high blood pressure. Changing eating habits is very difficult but some useful tips discussed below will help you in adopting a healthy diet.
- Maintain a food diary and write everything you eat for a week. Then monitor what food you eat mostly, in which quantity and when. This can help you shed some unhealthy eating habits.
- Try to eat foods which contain potassium so that the effect of sodium on blood pressure can be decreased. Rather taking supplements add foods like vegetables and fruits in your daily diet as they are rich with potassium.
- Always prepare a list of things which you need from the market to avoid buying junk food items. Always read the product’s label to know it nutrition value and try to stick on healthy eating while dinning out.
- DASH diet is a lifelong diet and it doesn’t mean that you cut all your favorite food. It is OK to have a treat occasionally while following this diet.
4. Reduce Sodium Intake
Sodium plays an important role in rising the blood pressure and a small reduction of sodium from the daily diet can decrease the blood pressure by 2- 8 mm Hg. Follow the guideline:
- Limit the sodium intake to 2300 mg/ day
- People of age 51 years or more, African American people of any age, kidney patients and high blood pressure patients should limit their sodium intake to less than 1500mg/day
To cut the sodium intake from diet, follow these tips.
- Write estimated amount of sodium you consume daily from food and drinks in your food diary. Try to use products having low sodium level.
- Avoid eating processed food as these supply extremely high amounts of sodium. Processed foods include frozen dinners, potato chips, processed lunch and bacon.
- Do not add too much salt in your food as a tsp of salt contains 2300 mg of sodium. For adding flavors to your dish use different herbs and spices rather than adding salt.
5. Limit Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol is considered as both good and bad for health. If consumed in small amount then it reduces the blood pressure 2 – 4 mm Hg whereas these protective effects can be lost if consumed in large quantity. If you are not an alcohol consumer, it is better not to start the consumption only to decrease the blood pressure as it may harm you more rather giving any benefit.
If alcohol is consumed in more than average amount than it can not only increase blood pressure but can also reduces the effects of medicines of high blood pressure.
- It is important to keep track of your alcohol on daily basis
- If you drink alcohol in heavy quantity then consider tapering it off. But tapper slowly as sudden elimination can raise the blood pressure to very high levels.
- Do not binge with alcohol as it can suddenly raise the blood pressure and cause other health problems.
6. Avoid Smoking
The nicotine present in all tobacco products can increase the blood pressure up to 10 mm Hg in an hour. If a person smokes throughout in a day then his blood pressure constantly remains high. Secondhand smoke which a person inhales from the smoking of other person is also very injurious and puts you at a risk of having different health problems like heart diseases and high blood pressure.
7. Reduce Caffeine Intake
The research on the pros and cons of caffeine intake is still under process and you can find a lot of debates over it. According to some experts, drinking beverages which contain caffeine can increase the blood pressure temporarily but its effects are still unclear that whether they are long lasting or temporary. For checking the impact of caffeine on your blood pressure, check your blood pressure after drinking coffee, if the blood pressure increases by 5 to 10 points then you are sensitive to caffeine.
8. Control Your Stress
Anxiety and stress is another factor which can raise the blood pressure. Try to outline the causes which are adding up to your stress. Causes like work, finances, family or any illness are among the leading factors. Once you outline the causes of stress, the next step is to try the elimination or reduction.
9. Eat Some Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolates contain Flavanols which have the ability to make the blood vessels more flexible. According to a research a gradual decrease in blood pressure is seen in those people who eat dark chocolate daily. It is recommended to have dark chocolate with more than 70% of cocoa and you should eat about 1/2 ounce per day.
10. Take Supplements
Supplements also help in lowering the blood pressure. Coenzyme Q10 has an ability to decrease the blood pressure by at least 17 mm Hg to 10 mm Hg. Your doctor may advise you different supplements and their effective dosage that is suitable for you.
Watch a video for 12 ways to lower blood pressure: