High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects millions of people worldwide. Untreated hypertension can lead to serious health complications, including heart disease and stroke.
While medication can effectively control high blood pressure, lifestyle changes can help you manage this condition. Considering trying at least one of these 10 ways to control high blood pressure without medication.
1. Eat a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can help lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of developing other conditions. Some eating plans, such as the Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, can help control blood pressure.
It’s important to avoid consuming saturated fats. These fats raise cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease. You can find saturated fats in butter, cakes, sausages, cheeses, and other food sources.
Healthy Eating Tips
It’s challenging to change eating habits. Use these tips to make it easier to eat for your cardiovascular health:
- Choose low-fat or reduced-fat dairy products or dairy alternatives.
- Compare food labels to buy the best options.
- Steam, grill, or bake foods rather than frying them.
- Choose leaner cuts of meat that are lower in fat, such as turkey breast.
- Put more veggies in soups and stews.
2. Limit Sodium Intake
Sodium is a mineral that’s essential for many of the body’s functions, but too much sodium can cause blood pressure to rise. The American Heart Association recommends limiting sodium intake to no more than 2,300 milligrams per day. Ideally, most adults should consume less than 1,500 milligrams per day, especially people with high blood pressure.
To reduce your sodium intake, avoid processed foods, which are often high in sodium. Restaurant meals also typically contain more sodium than home-cooked meals.
You can cook flavorful meals with herbs, spices, and tart ingredients like lemon, lime, or vinegar. And salt-free seasoning blends are a convenient way to maximize flavor without adding sodium.
3. Increase Potassium Intake
If you have high blood pressure, consider increasing your potassium intake. Most potassium you consume occurs naturally in vegetables, fruit, seafood, and dairy products.
Potassium-rich foods include bananas, leafy greens, avocados, sweet potatoes, and beans. Try to have at least one potassium-rich food in your daily diet.
4. Manage a Healthy Weight
Another way to control high blood pressure without medication is to manage a healthy weight. A person’s weight is determined by many factors, including their genetic background, metabolic rate, eating habits, and activity level.
Talk to a healthcare provider to learn more about your healthy weight range and the goals you can set for yourself. People who are overweight may reduce their blood pressure by losing even a few pounds.
5. Exercise Every Day
Physical activity can help lower blood pressure, and regular exercise can keep blood pressure from rising again. Most people generally benefit from at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily.
Moderate-intensity exercises include brisk walking, cycling, and swimming. If you’re new to exercise, start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workout.
You can try different types of exercise to control high blood pressure and meet your fitness goals. Strength training at least two days a week is another effective way to manage hypertension. Talk to your doctor before starting exercise for professional insight and advice.
6. Quit Smoking
Smoking can cause your blood pressure to rise and increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Quitting smoking is one of the most effective ways to control high blood pressure and improve your overall health. If you need help quitting, talk to your healthcare provider or join a support group.
The urge to smoke can feel overwhelming, and many people find quitting very challenging. Try different techniques to see what works best for you.
You might respond well to nicotine replacement therapy, such as nicotine patches or gum. You may also like engaging in short bursts of physical activity to pull yourself through a craving. And a support system of trustworthy people can help keep you motivated to quit for good.
7. Limit Alcohol Consumption
Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends limiting alcohol consumption to no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men. One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 4 ounces of wine, or 1 ounce of 100-proof spirits.
When it comes to any health recommendations applied to a specific person, it’s important to have tailored advice. A physician can provide guidance regarding alcohol consumption based on each individual’s risks and potential benefits. Some people, such as those taking certain medications, are advised not to consume alcohol at all.
8. Manage Stress
Stress creates a temporary spike in blood pressure, but there’s no evidence that proves stress alone causes long-term hypertension. When a person feels stressed, their body releases hormones that cause the heart to beat faster and blood vessels to narrow.
Some stress is unavoidable in life, but it’s beneficial to reduce stress as much as possible. You can do this by cultivating gratitude, purposefully relaxing every day, and avoiding taking on too much responsibility.
Consider trying meditation or deep breathing exercises to relax your body and lower your blood pressure. You can watch videos or download an app with meditation and breathing activities for beginners, or join a group of fellow practitioners.
9. Sleep Well
Sleeping less than six hours every night for several weeks can contribute to high blood pressure. If you have trouble sleeping, try establishing a regular sleep routine you can maintain throughout the entire week.
You should also create a relaxing environment for sleep by making your sleeping room cool, quiet, and dark. And part of your routine can include doing something relaxing to prepare yourself for sleep.
Avoid looking at screens two to three hours before bed. Electronic screens on TVs, computers, and cell phones emit blue light that suppresses the body’s release of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that helps manage your sleep-wake cycle.
10. Monitor Blood Pressure Regularly
Finally, regularly monitoring your blood pressure helps you identify changes so you can act before your blood pressure becomes too high. Blood pressure readings can also verify that changes in how you sleep, eat, or exercise are improving your hypertension.
You can monitor your blood pressure at home, have your blood pressure checked by a healthcare provider, or both. Talk to a doctor to learn how to monitor your blood pressure, what to look for, and what to do if your reading is outside of the recommended parameters.
All States M.E.D. has top-quality blood pressure equipment for sale. Get reliable readings fast to manage high blood pressure and improve overall health. Shop with us today.