4 Lifestyle Changes to Lower your Blood Pressure
A high blood pressure diagnosis can be scary. Known as the “silent killer,” high blood pressure can be responsible for heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, blood clots, and more. Many people don’t like the thought of having to take medication for hypertension, but fortunately there are several lifestyle changes you can make that may help delay the need for medication.
Diet and Exercise
Diet and exercise is one of the most important changes to make in order to lower your blood pressure. Being overweight increases your risk significantly, so losing even 10 pounds can make a huge impact. Exercising at least 30 minutes each day is not only good for your overall heart health, but it can also help you drop unwanted weight. When building your diet, focus on including whole grains, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and fruits. Avoid items that are high in cholesterol, saturated fat, and sodium.
Reduce Alcohol Consumption
Many people often forget that alcohol consumption can impact more than just your liver health. If you drink more than the noted limit (one drink per day for women or two drinks per day for men), your blood pressure can rise by as much as several points. Moderation is key.
Everyone knows that smoking has a huge negative effect on your health. It also can affect your blood pressure. In fact, your blood pressure rises for several minutes after finishing a cigarette. The more often you smoke, the higher your blood pressure will be. Quitting can help your blood pressure drop back down to its normal number (and greatly improve your overall health).
If you notice that you experience a lot of stress in your daily life, reducing this can help keep your blood pressure in a healthy zone. Whether it’s due to issues at work, in your personal life, or something else altogether, take time to relax and give yourself the personal care you need to stay healthy. Tackle one item at a time and build realistic goals to keep yourself on track without feeling overwhelmed. If you can identify what is triggering the stress, work on a plan that can help you avoid those.