High blood pressure is a common condition, yet many patients do not have their blood pressure levels under control. And having it under control is important, because high blood pressure increases your risk for heart failure, stroke, heart attack, and other life-threatening problems.
Some experts suggest that anywhere from 50 to 90 percent of patients with high blood pressure could lower their numbers with lifestyle changes. This approach to treatment is often suggested before medication as long as the patient does not have any additional high risk factors.
Here are some ways to lower blood pressure through lifestyle adjustments:
1. Diet Changes
Try cutting back on packaged, processed foods, which are often high in sugar, simple carbohydrates, and sodium. Your salt intake plays a role in your blood pressure levels, and in the United States, most of the salt that we consume comes from restaurant foods and processed foods. By opting for whole, fresh foods whenever possible, you can cut your salt intake drastically.
2. Get Active
You don’t have to start training for a marathons to see the benefits of physical activity. If you’re new to exercising regularly, start slow. Even a few minutes a day of a fun activity or a short walk is beneficial. Once you build the habit, you can work up to exercising daily and getting the amount recommended by your doctor. Over time, these changes can make a big difference in your blood pressure.
3. Evaluate Your Habits
Alcoholic beverages and cigarette smoking are two contributors to high blood pressure. Limit your alcoholic beverage intake to once or twice a week, at most, and talk to your doctor about how to effectively quit smoking. This can lower your blood pressure and also lowers your risk for other health issues, like heart disease and cancer.
4. Weight Loss
You can experience lower blood pressure by lowing just five percent of your current weight. The additional benefits of weight loss are many. While your ongoing efforts to eat healthy, get active, and evaluate your habits can naturally contribute to weight loss, implementing an easily maintained weight loss approach can also help. Remember to set goals that you know you can stick with so that you can carry on the changes for a lifetime.
Of course, these steps are not always effective for every patient, and many patients respond best to medication. The best qualified individual to help you determine your next steps is your own physician.
4 Ways to Lower Blood Pressure Without Medication
Posted On: 12-20-2019
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