Hypertension affects more than 100 million Americans. Going by the numbers, it’s a pretty serious issue that needs to be curbed. Well, if you are diagnosed with this condition, you might want to visit a high blood pressure doctor. Well, this is surely a great option but there is a lot you can do to curb it on your own. Here are some ways to do that:
1) Lose some weight
According to experts, there is a direct link between your weight and blood pressure. Increased weight contributes to higher blood pressure. This can be explained on the basis that being overweight leads to disrupted breathing, which raises blood pressure. So, losing weight is one of the most effective strategies to control blood pressure. Even if you reduce it by a small amount, it can be very helpful. If you’re looking for numbers, reducing your weight by 1 Kg can reduce your blood pressure by 1mm of mercury.
2) Exercise regularly
Exercising is a great way to keep your body operating at its optimum condition. It not only helps in reducing weight but also channels a healthy blood flow throughout the body. Doctors suggest that exercising 30 mins daily can reduce your blood pressure 4 to 8 mm Hg. It’s important to maintain consistency because if you stop exercising, it can again cause a spike in your blood pressure. So, it’s important that you develop a proper exercising routine. Start with some aerobic exercises like walking, jogging, dancing, swimming, or cycling. You can blend it with some high-intensity workouts to increase your strength. If you are confused about following the right approach, talk to your high blood pressure doctor to develop an exercise schedule for you.
3) Eat a healthy diet
Your diet plays a major role in the way your body functions. Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and healthy fats. This can reduce your hypertension by up to 10- 11 mm Hg. This diet plan is also known as the DASH diet: Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension. Well, if you have been eating an unhealthy diet, starting a healthy eating habit might be a challenge for you. A handy tip is to make a diet chart and follow it strictly. In addition, boost your potassium intake and shop smartly. Look at food labels to ensure it does not have any unhealthy ingredients.
4) Reduce your sodium intake
Reducing your sodium intake is the key to good heart health and lower blood pressure. If you are battling hypertension, lowering your sodium intake can reduce your blood pressure by up to 6 mm Hg. The effect of sodium varies among people but in general, a low sodium diet is ideal for most adults. Some effective ways to reduce sodium intake include eating less salt, saying NO to processed foods, and carefully selecting your products.
5) Quit Smoking
Smoking, in general, is bad for your health. It constricts your blood vessels and prevents ideal blood flow in the body. Every time you smoke, it causes a spike in your blood pressure and increases your risk of various health complications. If you can’t quit directly, start by reducing it and gradually head towards stopping it completely.
6) Reduce your alcohol intake
Just like smoking, alcohol is also bad for your health. The main issue arises from the fact that people indulge in excessive drinking that takes a toll on their health and poses them at risk of various health complications. A good idea is to drink in moderation. In fact, if you do that, it’s good for your health. Experts say that if you drink moderately you can reduce your blood pressure by up to 4 mm Hg. So, stick to just 1 drink a day, which equals 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1.5 ounces of liquor.
7) Reduce stress
Stress is one of the major causes of blood pressure. Well, we still don’t have enough research to prove how exactly that happens but there is a direct link between chronic stress and increased blood pressure. One possible explanation is that when you exert too much pressure on your brain, it does not function to its full capacity. As a result, various body functions might be compromised. Stress can lead to unhealthy eating habits, smoking, and drinking alcohol. So, these can lead to hypertension if you do not manage them on time. An effective strategy to reduce stress is by getting productive and focussing on the positives. You need to reduce negativity in your life. Spend time with your loved ones and focus on your goals.
8) Cut down on caffeine intake
Caffeine offers that instant boost of energy that prompts people to use it in excess. Well, there is still not a direct link between caffeine intake and blood pressure but research shows that people who don’t take caffeine regularly can experience a rise in their blood pressure by up to 10 mm Hg. On the other hand, people who regularly take caffeine don’t experience any significant rise in their blood pressure. If you are confused about how it affects you, check your blood pressure 30 minutes after consuming a high caffeine beverage. If it rises by more than 5 mm Hg, you might be sensitive to caffeine.
9) Get some support
Having some supportive friends or family members can be of great help. They can offer some care and encourage you to follow a healthy lifestyle. In the event of any emergency, they can take you to the doctor and help you get the treatment you need. A good idea is to keep them informed about your health status. They can motivate you and keep you engaged with people that are cheerful. This contributes to a happy state of mind, which helps you in remaining stress-free.
10) Talk to a doctor
If you’re confused about following the right approach towards managing your blood pressure, you can contact a high blood pressure doctor. This is important because a qualified doctor has the expertise and experience to manage your symptoms. The doctor can screen your health and figure out the root cause of your condition. So, schedule a visit with your doctor and seek his guidance. The expert can provide you with the right line of treatment to manage your high blood pressure effectively.