There are many medications you can take for high blood pressure, but most doctors agree, changing lifestyle habits should be the first place to start and often you can lower high blood pressure naturally. Lifestyle changes can lead to dramatic drops in blood pressure levels, getting them to normal levels without taking a single pill. However, never undertake these changes without consulting your doctor and never go off blood pressure medication on your own. While you can and should take charge of your own health care by living healthier, your health care provider is the expert to help you on that journey.
Start by shedding those extra pounds.
Losing weight often consists of two things. The first is eating healthier and the second is exercise. Let’s look at healthy eating first. Not only will you lose weight when you eat healthier, many foods also help lower your blood pressure naturally. Leafy greens, berries, red beets, yogurt, oatmeal, bananas, salmon or other fish high in omega-3s and seeds are a few foods to add to your menu. These are also whole foods that can help you shed weight. Stay clear of salty food and those with added sugar, both make blood pressure increase.
You can lower your blood pressure by as much as 8 mm Hg when you workout regularly. That exercise also helps you lose weight and get rid of fat around your middle that increases the potential for high blood pressure. It only takes 150 minutes of exercise a week or about 30 minutes a day to see benefits that include lowering body fat and lowering blood pressure at the same time. It doesn’t have to be strenuous, just walking, dancing or swimming can help. High intensity training that alternates between an intense exercise period and an easier recovery period, help get the heart back in shape faster. Strength training also reduces blood pressure.
Eliminate some stress from your life.
Getting rid of stress isn’t easy, but it’s one of the best ways to lower blood pressure. Luckily, you can reduce stress and burn off the hormones of stress with exercise. You can include meditation, breathing techniques and practicing gratitude. Learn to control the things you can control and work on those issues. For the things you can’t control, just having faith they’ll work out is all you can do. (Worrying and fretting never changed anything.)
- If you smoke, quit. The same is true for drinking more than one or two drinks a day. Both smoking and heavier alcohol consumption can raise your blood pressure.
- Most people know that they need to cut out salt and high sodium food, but sugar, whether honey or granulated sugar, also makes your blood pressure spike. Focus on eating food that’s naturally sweet with no added sugar.
- Increase your potassium levels by consuming bananas, cooked spinach, navy beans, Lima beans and pinto beans are high in potassium. Have a meatless Monday with beans and rice for a complete protein that lowers blood pressure and saves money.
- Watch that morning cup of coffee. A single cup of coffee can raise your blood pressure by as much as ten points. It also can keep you up at night and lack of sleep can raise your blood pressure significantly.
For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness