Your blood pressure naturally changes, and your lifestyle significantly affects this. Blood pressure consistently above the normal levels is diagnosed as high blood pressure or hypertension. This is linked to heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, and heart failure. But, there are ways you can control high blood pressure without meds and only through changes in your lifestyle.
How to Control High Blood Pressure through Lifestyle
Everyone is at risk of high blood pressure, especially individuals who take little care of their health.
How you live your life and what you eat play a massive role in your blood pressure levels. Some are recommended to take medications to help maintain normal levels, while others are advised to change their lifestyle to avoid or delay high blood pressure.
Here we’ve listed what you can do to control high blood pressure without medications and simple lifestyle changes.
As weight increases, so does your blood pressure. The excess fat that your body collects puts extra strain on the heart, resulting in high blood pressure.
Weight loss is one of the most effective ways to control blood pressure. Even losing a bit of weight already has a substantial effect on normalizing your blood pressure levels.
Regular exercise is essential, especially if you are at risk of high blood pressure or are already diagnosed by your doctor. 150 minutes a week of exercise can lower your blood pressure to a safer level.
It’s important to be consistent with your physical activity, as avoiding exercise will cause your blood pressure to rise again.
Some exercises you can do are walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or dancing. You can also include strength training at least twice a week to help reduce or control high blood pressure.
We mean it big time when we say that your diet has a significant role in your elevated blood pressure.
Table salt, trans fat, saturated food, and processed and fast food all have a say in your high blood pressure.
To avoid a rising blood pressure altogether, maintain a diet full of whole grains, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. This eating pattern is known as the DASH Diet or the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet.
We know it’s not easy to change eating habits instantly. But, here we have tips so you can shift to a healthy diet easier and control high blood pressure:
- Keep track of what you eat, how much, when, and why.
- Eat foods rich in potassium, such as fruits and vegetables. This can lessen the effect of sodium.
- Read food labels and stick to natural, organic, and healthy food.
Drink alcohol in moderation
Alcohol goes both ways. It’s good for your heart if you drink moderately. One drink a day for women, two for men. A 12-ounce beer can potentially lower blood pressure.
However, consumption of too much alcohol can lead to harmful high blood pressure, among other health conditions, like liver and heart disease. If you are taking medication, it also decreases its effectiveness.
Minutes after you finish a stick cigarette, your blood pressure rises. If you’ve been having fluctuating blood pressure for some time now, it’s best to stop smoking as it increases the chance of it returning to normal.
Limit sodium intake
Limiting sodium intake benefits your blood pressure and your heart health.
Here are some helpful tips on how to limit sodium in your diet:
- Make it a habit to read food labels. Choose products that are low in sodium.
- Lessen consumption of processed food since sodium is added during processing.
- Suddenly reducing sodium intake might be difficult for some of you, so we suggest gradually doing it. Over time, you get to adjust.
Monitor your blood pressure at home
To make sure your lifestyle changes are effective, monitor your blood pressure at home.
To control high blood pressure more, make sure you follow doctor’s appointments. By telling your doctor what you’ve been doing, they can better assess your condition and advise on how to control your blood pressure further.
It’s also best to consult them before making major changes to your diet and lifestyle. If your blood pressure is well-controlled, you might need fewer visits to the doctor’s office, which is a good sign.