How to Control Hypertension? is a question often asked. Hypertension or High Blood Pressure doesn’t show any symptoms but silently damages your blood vessels and affects important organs like the heart, kidney, and brain. This leads to serious health problems like heart attack or kidney disease. If you have hypertension, consult your doctor and gather information on how it affects your body and regulate your blood pressure with medicines and lifestyle changes. Use this information to follow a healthy lifestyle.
Monitor your blood pressure regularly to see whether medication and lifestyle changes are working or not. Treating hypertension also reduces the risk of a stroke, heart failure, or heart attack. Lifestyle plays a major role in fighting hypertension as adopting a healthy lifestyle may help you reduce your medication. Here are the lifestyle changes that can lower your blood pressure:
Lose Weight If You Are Overweight
Weight gain is often linked to increased blood pressure. And it’s not just weight gain but the area where you gain weight also affects your blood pressure. Too much weight around the waistline increases the chances of high blood pressure.
So losing weight can help you reduce your blood pressure. Men with a waistline of more than 40 inches and women with a waistline of more than 35 inches are at greater risk.
If you have increased blood pressure, regular exercise will help you in keeping a check on your blood pressure and avoid hypertension. And if you have high blood pressure, regular exercise can lower your blood pressure. A daily workout of 30 mins or a daily walk for 30 mins can bring down your blood pressure by up to 8 mm Hg.
If you are one of those who don’t love to exercise, then a 30 min walk can have the same effect as an intensive workout. You can even do sustainable workouts such as aerobics, cycling, etc.
Changing eating habits is not easy but eating a healthy diet that is rich in nutrients and low in fat can lower your blood pressure by up to 11mm Hg. One such diet is the DASH diet which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It is a lifelong approach to follow if you want to prevent hypertension.
It was developed to reduce blood pressure without medication. DASH diet limits portion size, reduces sodium in the diet, and includes nutrients like potassium, calcium, and magnesium that are known for lowering blood pressure. DASH diet includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. It also includes fish, poultry, and small amounts of nuts.
Eat a Low Sodium Diet
Start with reducing sodium in smaller amounts. Even smaller reductions can benefit by lowering blood pressure by up to 5 mm Hg. To reduce sodium, add less salt to your food and completely stop eating processed food.
When buying food, always read labels and buy food that has low sodium. Make these changes slowly and your palate will get used to it if you strictly follow a low sodium diet even for a week.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol can be good if consumed in moderation as it also lowers blood pressure but if consumed more than moderation it can reduce the effect of blood pressure medication. The moderate limit is one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
Smoking causes a temporary increase in blood pressure. Even passive smoking is as harmful as smoking itself. Smoking increases plaque inside the arteries and is considered a leading but preventable cause of premature deaths.
So it is advisable to avoid all forms of tobacco and passive smoke for the benefit of your overall health.
One of the biggest reasons for smoking and alcohol consumption is stress. It is important to understand that stress management is a life skill you should acquire so that you don’t have to depend on alcohol or smoking.
Stress induces hormones that make the heart beat faster and constricts blood vessels which raises blood pressure. Develop healthy habits, share your thoughts and feelings with family and friends, exercise, take a break from work to rejuvenate, and develop a hobby that helps you release stress. This will definitely reduce your stress.
Regularly Monitor Your Blood Pressure
It helps in controlling blood pressure better and lets you take precautions before it gets serious and also helps you find out whether lifestyle changes are working for you.
It is a lifelong commitment to manage hypertension and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Involve your family and friends in your efforts, so that you stay motivated. Get in touch with people, who are successfully managing their hypertension, they will provide tips and encouragement to keep you going. I hope this article will you help to follow a healthy lifestyle.
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