You must have come across people in your circle who are on blood pressure medication for as long as you know them. The medication keeps your blood pressure in control for as long as you are not missing your daily pills.
The secret of controlling your blood pressure lies in making significant changes to your lifestyle. Such changes do not only save you from life-long medication but also improve your health.
Below are the top lifestyle changes to fight-off high blood pressure.
Tobacco usage is harmful to your health for so many reasons, including the damage it does to your blood arteries. Smoking cigarettes is amongst the primary reasons for high blood pressure as the nicotine increases your blood pressure. It also narrows your arteries, making it difficult for blood to flow without clotting.
Quitting smoking may sound easier said than done. Therefore, will power, preparation, and expert advice are the pillars to get you through this seemingly difficult decision.
Here are a few tips to start:
– Consult your doctor and pick a date to stop smoking.
– Remind yourself regularly about the rationale behind your decision.
– Avoid circumstances that trigger smoking desire.
– Indulge yourself in something productive e.g. any physical activity.
– Request people not to smoke around you.
– Focus on the positive aspect of giving up smoking rather than craving for it.
– Stick to your decision and continue with the routine.
Obese people have more chances of suffering from higher blood pressure. It is due to the increase in fatty tissue that intensifies the vascular resistance. As a result, the heart has to work more to pump blood.
You must avoid food with saturated fats such as fried foods, animal products, and desserts. Replace your diet with fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and non-processed food items. Even the modest reduction in weight will improve your blood pressure readings.
Here are the tried and tested tips for an effective weight management.
– Include fiber-filled carbohydrate foods in your diet.
– Develop a regular exercise routine.
– Stay hydrated.
– Avoid processed foods.
– Reduce the portion size
Reduce Salt Intake
Salt gives a distinctive taste to food; however, increased intake of sodium is responsible for high blood pressure. Moreover, excessive salt consumption also disrupts the ability of the kidneys to remove extra water from body.
Eliminate excessive salt intake from your diet by following these steps.
– Avoid packaged food items by replacing them with fresh items.
– Use lesser salt while cooking.
– Switch to vegetables and fruits.
– Purchase products after carefully reading the nutrition facts.
– Avoid dining out as much as possible.
Limiting Alcohol Consumption
Red wine is healthy for heart health – right? No, it’s a myth as alcohol by no means improves your health. In fact, it is one of the reasons that adds to high blood pressure.
If you are a regular drinker, cut down your alcohol consumption to maximum two drinks per day to keep things under control.
Switch to Plant-Based Diet
A plant-based diet has magical powers to lower your blood pressure. Such diets are fiber-enriched with lower fat content and calories that help maintain a healthy weight, which is core to a better cardiovascular system.
Moreover, the plant-based diet is low in sodium and has higher potassium concentration, and this combination helps in keeping the blood pressure under control.
You can check your regular blood pressure measurements for a few days and then, adopt the following routine for a couple of weeks to see how this improves your blood pressure.
– Stop consuming diets that include any meat, including chicken, fish, beef, or any animal products.
– Kick-off the plant-based diet and continue for at least two to three weeks.
– Fill yourself with fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes only.
– Check your blood pressure again to see improvements.
Increase Physical Activity
Exercise and being physically active make the difference. A regular physical activity routine provides more strength to your heart. The stronger the heart, the better the blood pressure measurements.
It does not mean that you start with an intense activity that you cannot maintain on a regular basis. The key to success is regularity in whatever activity you are undertaking. You can start with walking or playing any sport, but it should be regular.
Food that Helps with High Blood Pressure
The following food options help in lowering the blood pressure.
– Leafy green veggies – they are rich with potassium that helps in excreting sodium through urine.
– Garlic and herbs – you can replace salt and spices with garlic and herbs, such as rosemary, basil, cinnamon.
– Oatmeal – high-fiber, low-sodium, and low-fat breakfast option to control blood pressure.
– Berries – flavonoids found in berries help with hypertension.
– Olive oil – contains polyphenols that reduces high blood pressure.
The Bottom Line
By incorporating the aforementioned tips and advice, you can effectively maintain your blood pressure. Remember, making the changes to your lifestyle is the cornerstone of controlling high blood pressure.