High blood pressure can be a serious health issue and can lead to stroke, heart attack, or even kidney failure.
Fortunately, with the correct lifestyle changes and habits, you can easily lower your blood pressure and help prevent any potential health problems.
Here are seven effective ways to help lower your blood pressure.
Table of Contents
1. Exercise Regularly
Regular physical activity can help lower your blood pressure, improve your circulation, and reduce stress levels.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on most days of the week and combine it with some form of resistance such as lifting weights or doing bodyweight exercises.
Exercise will also help you maintain a healthy weight, which is an important factor in managing high blood pressure.
2. Eat Healthy Foods
Eating a healthy diet is one of the most important ways to combat high blood pressure. Focus on lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products.
Eliminate processed foods from your diet and reduce sodium intake to help keep your blood pressure in check.
Additionally, it is recommended that you increase your intake of potassium-rich foods such as bananas, sweet potatoes, avocados, oranges and broccoli.
3. Reduce Your Sodium Intake
Sodium, or salt, can be a major contributor to high blood pressure. You should reduce the amount of processed foods you eat, as they often contain high amounts of sodium.
Additionally, you should avoid adding table salt to meals whenever possible.
When shopping for packaged food items, look for low-sodium versions, and add seasoning with herbs and spices instead of salt.
4. Cut Back on Alcohol Consumption
Excessive alcohol consumption can put strain on your cardiovascular system, which can raise your blood pressure.
Limiting alcohol to 1-2 drinks per day for men or 1 drink per day for women is the best way to keep your blood pressure under control. Look for non-alcoholic options when drinking at social occasions.
Additionally, it’s recommended that you have at least a couple of days per week that are completely alcohol-free.
5. Manage Stress Levels and Deep Breathing Techniques
Stress has a direct impact on your blood pressure and can greatly increase it. Taking some time to destress each day is crucial to keep your blood pressure under control.
Deep breathing techniques are one way of managing stress and lowering your blood pressure. Start by inhaling slowly, hold the breath for a few seconds, then slowly exhale.
Repeat this cycle as often as needed until you feel relaxed and your heart rate decreases.
6. Cut Down on Sugar and Refined Carbs
Research indicates that reducing your intake of these foods may lead to weight loss and decreased blood pressure readings.
According to a review, sucrose (table sugar) is associated with greater increases in both systolic and diastolic pressure readings than salt.
A 2020 study also showed that low carb/fat diets lowered diastolic blood pressure by 5 mm Hg and systolic pressure by 3 mm Hg in people with obesity.
In addition, cutting down on sugar can help make you feel fuller for longer as you increase your proteins and fats intake.
7. Get Adequate and Consistent Sleep
Start with making sure that you have quality sleep can help to lower your blood pressure.
Research from the 2010 national Sleep Heart Health Study found that sleeping 7-9 hours a night is associated with decreased risk of high blood pressure.
Those who sleep fewer or more than this range have an increased risk of hypertension. To ensure restful sleep, try setting a regular sleep schedule and make sure to relax before bedtime.
During the day, exercise regularly and avoid taking naps. Also, ensure your bedroom is comfortable for sound slumber.
By adhering to these tips, you can help protect yourself from high blood pressure by achieving good quality sleep on a regular basis.