High-blood pressure can cause or exacerbate a number of medical conditions. There are many medications available, and a variety of healthy habits that can easily be incorporated to nearly any lifestyle to help lower and manage high-blood pressure. Additionally, many of these habits can be utilized prior to a diagnosis of high-blood pressure, promoting a healthier lifestyle and reducing the risk of developing high-blood pressure all together.
Healthy Eating – Diets packed with fresh foods and fewer processed products provide the best nutrition. The consumption of foods including fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, low or non-fat dairy products, nuts, and seeds are vital to a diet catered to preventing or managing hypertension. Elimination of trans-fats and a reduction in saturated fat, total fat, cholesterol, and sugars are essential to a heart healthy diet.
Reduced Salt Intake – Reducing the amount of salt in a diet will heavily impact hypertension. Many people over use salt ingesting nearly 1,000 mg more than the recommended daily value of 2,300 mg. For those with hypertension a good level is between 500-1,000 mg per day. Processed foods are packed with sodium and table salt has no accurate measurement, making it easy to take in more salt than needed. It may take some getting used to, but measuring and monitoring salt intake is an effective way to manage high-blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack, or stroke.
Alcohol Intake – The occasional drink can actually supply health benefits to the body and rarely does great harm. However, those who regularly drink too much can suffer from high-blood pressure and a variety of other medical conditions. For women with high-blood pressure, the intake limit is one drink per day. For men, the healthy limit is two drinks per day. For those who are heavy drinkers and may have issues limiting intake, speak with your doctor to formulate a plan.
Weight Management – Body weight plays a large role in the overall health of our bodies. If not kept in check, weight increases the development risk for not only hypertension, but also for cholesterol and diabetes. All of these factors heavily contribute to the development of heart disease. Physicians can help plan the right course of weight loss, depending on the needs of each patient.
Physical Activity – Physical activity is an important part of any lifestyle. Not only does t help us manage weight, but it can effectively reduce the feelings of stress, or tension. Exercise can also prevent or control high blood pressure. Being active for 30 minutes a day, for several days a week can help to shed those extra pounds, maintain a healthy weight, manage high-blood pressure, and reduce stress; creating an all-around healthier you.
Quit Smoking – Aside from increasing risk for heart disease, cigarette smoking is responsible for causing a variety of chronic and terminal respiratory disorders. Hypertension is not a direct result of cigarette smoking, but the damage to the walls of the blood vessels and the hardening of arteries is. As this happens, those who have high-blood pressure find themselves in a very dangerous situation. Fortunately, if quitting smoking is successful, risk for heart attack is reduced in as little as a full smoke-free year.
Home Blood Pressure Monitoring – Monitoring blood pressure at home is as important as regular check-ups with physicians. However, it is considerably more convenient and economical. Home monitoring kits have come a long way over the years. Many easy-to-use digital monitoring machines are available, at reasonable prices. Not only does at-home monitoring give the user peace of mind, it also alerts patients to potential problems, allowing them to get in to see their physician, sooner rather than later.
Stress Management – Managing stress in our lives is easier said than done, but it is essential to the management of hypertension. Not only is the impact of stress on the body dangerous to high-blood pressure, but its physical manifestations, including over eating, smoking, and drinking are just as dangerous. Finding healthier outlets to manage or eliminate stress is key. Physical exercise has already been suggested for weight management and it’s highly successful at lowering stress levels too.
Relax – Again, like ridding ourselves of stress, this is easier said than done. Nonetheless, it is important to find time to relax and breathe. There are many techniques available for achieving relaxation. Some techniques include yoga, meditation, positive energy activities, or just doing something you enjoy. These techniques can all make a great impact on stress levels, lowering the risk of hypertension, and effectively permit the body to relax as a whole.
Home Remedies – Many supplements offer blood pressure lowering properties, while positively affecting the body as a whole. Everyday pantry items can help add flavorful way to manage hypertension. Some natural remedies for lowering high-blood pressure include garlic, onion juice and honey drinks, boiler rice and potatoes, curry leaves, carrot and spinach juice, and grapefruits. Many of these natural remedies also support a heart healthy diet.