Put ten older adults in a room; there are chances that eight of them are battling with high blood pressure.
The use of medication in treating this condition has been helpful for some. Many have also lost their lives due to this condition, while many are still struggling to survive although they have also made use of numerous Medications.
Have you been diagnosed with High Blood Pressure? Are you scared of using medications? Do you need alternatives? If yes, pay close attention to the information discussed in this article. This article focuses on switching from drugs to lifestyle changes in treating this condition. Lifestyle changes can be beneficial for lowering your high blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease.
The effect of simple lifestyle changes in treating your condition cannot be overestimated. With success in your quest to control lifestyle, you will totally avoid or reduce the need for medication for treating high blood pressure.
Lifestyle Changes for Combating High Blood Pressure
To successfully combat High Blood Pressure, here are some active steps to take;
- Shed weight and watch your waistline
Studies have shown that as your weight increases, your blood pressure increases. The effect of being overweight are numerous. It can make it hard for you to breath very well while sleeping, otherwise called sleep apnea. And this condition raises the blood pressure.
Before starting any treatment procedure, it is best to shed some extra pounds. This is one of the most effective lifestyle changes for dealing with high blood pressure. If you are obese or overweight, losing a little amount of weight will significantly reduce your blood pressure.
Do you know that you can reduce your blood pressure by 1 mm Hg when you lose up to 1 kilogram? You must also keep an eye on our waistline. With too much weight around the waistline, your chances of having high blood pressure increases.
Men are at risk of HBP when they have a waist measurement greater than 40 inches (102 cm)
Women are at risk of HBP when they have a waist measurement greater than 35 inches (89 cm)
Note: These numbers vary based on ethnic group
- Regular Exercise is a Must
One of the reasons why this condition is prevalent among adults is because they seldom exercise their body.
With a switch to regular physical activities like taking a long walk every day for at least 15 minutes can help improve the overall health condition and lower HBP by about 5-8 mm Hg.
The reverse is the case if you stop exercising your body. Your blood pressure significantly increases again. Hence, you need to be consistent with your exercise routine. With high blood pressure comes hypertension, but regular exercise can help reduce the blood pressure and bring it to a safe level.
You can explore one of the following exercise irrespective of your age, jogging, cycling, swimming, dancing, walking, amongst others.
If your condition permits, you can visit a nearby gym for some intense exercise options. You can also try strength training, and this is also good for reducing your blood pressure. Doing this once or twice weekly works wonder.
- Switch to Healthy Diets
Another good lifestyle changes that can help deal with HBP is eating healthy diets. Your diet is more beneficial when it is rich in whole grain, low-fat diary products, fruits, vegetables, and low in saturated fats and cholesterol. Over a short period, it can help lower the blood pressure by up to 11 mm HG if your blood pressure is high.
This eating pattern is often referred to as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diets.
Changing your diet may not be easy, but try these tips;
Build a food diary, write down what you eat for a week (Everything). This will help you understand clearly your true eating habit — monitor what, how much, when, and why you consume everything you eat.
You can try boosting your potassium intake, which can help reduce the effect of sodium on the blood pressure. Potassium can be found in fruits and vegetables. Shop smartly, read food labels before buying them, and stick to a healthy eating pattern. Consider visiting a dietician or nutritionist.
- Reduce your sodium intake
Reducing the volume of sodium in your diet can go a long way in improving your blood pressure. A small reduction in sodium intake can lead to a reduction of 5-6 mm HG in your blood pressure. Effect of sodium varies in different age group, and among people in general.
If you can’t totally stop consuming salt, why not reduce your intake to around 2,000 MG per day or less. Adults with high blood pressure should go for 1,500 MG per day or lower.
You may do these to reduce sodium in your diets:
- Always read food labels before buying
- Reduce intake of processed food. Many add more sodium while cooking.
- Use spices and herbs instead of salt while cooking.
- Cut back sodium intake gradually till you master it.
These will help you successfully reduce your sodium intake.
- Reduce Alcohol Intake
Alcohol can be suitable for refreshing the body, but it can be bad for your health in the long run. Drinking in moderation (I will suggest at most two bottles a day for men and one a day for women) will help reduce your blood pressure by 44 mm HG if it is high already.
It is even better if you can completely stop asking alcohol, especially if the blood pressures is really high. If you are taking medications to treat your condition, use of alcohol might prevent the effectiveness of these medications.
In this article, we have discussed some of the essential lifestyle changes that can help reduce your blood pressure without necessarily using medications. It has proved effective for thousands of individuals and will surely work for you too.
If you still wish to use medications, you can do so; these procedures won’t stop your medicines from achieving their goals. In the next post, we will also touch some essential changes that will be of help.
In the meantime, you can drop your suggestions and let’s hear your opinions on this topic. You can also drop questions if you need clarification.
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