Lifestyle plays a vital role in reducing your high blood pressure to normal and avoid getting a stroke. So YES! You can successfully control your blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle and avoid or reduce the need for medication.
Here are eight lifestyle changes you can make to lower your blood pressure and keep it down.
1. Exercise regularly
If you have elevated blood pressure, 30 minutes of exercise for a minimum of 5 days a week can help you avoid developing hypertension. In addition, regular physical activity can bring your blood pressure down to an average level if you already have hypertension.
Examples of aerobic exercise you may try to lower blood pressure include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or dancing.
Exercising will also help you lose weight. Weight loss is one of the most effective lifestyle changes for controlling blood pressure.
2. Eat a healthy diet
Eating a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol can lower your blood pressure by up to 11 mm Hg if you have high blood pressure. However, berries, okra, beets, hibiscus flower and oregano have been proven to reduce blood pressure.
3. Reduce sodium in your diet
Even a slight reduction in the sodium in your diet can improve your heart health and reduce blood pressure by about 5 to 6 mm Hg if you have high blood pressure. Try to limit sodium to 2,300 milligrams (mg) or less a day.
Choose low-sodium alternatives to the foods and beverages you usually buy, don't add salt and eat fewer processed foods. Avoid salted fast-food fries
4. Limit Alchohol and Quit smoking
Drinking more than moderate alcohol can raise blood pressure by several points. It can also reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.
Each cigarette you smoke increases your blood pressure for many minutes after you finish. Quitting smoking can help your blood pressure return to normal, reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your overall health.
5. Cut back on caffeine
Caffeinated drinks such as coffee, energy drinks and some tea can raise blood pressure to 10 mm Hg in people who rarely consume it. But people who drink coffee regularly may experience little or no effect on their blood pressure. You can check how caffeine affects your blood pressure by checking your blood pressure before and a few minutes after taking caffeine.
6. Reduce your stress
Chronic & occasional stress may contribute to high blood pressure if you react to stress by eating unhealthy food, drinking alcohol or smoking.
Take some time to think about what causes you to feel stressed, such as work, family, finances or illness and consider how to reduce them.
- Change your expectations. For example, plan your day and focus on your priorities. Understand that you can't change or control some things, but you can focus on how you react to them.
- Avoid stress triggers. Try to avoid triggers when you can. For example, if rush-hour traffic on the way to work causes stress, try leaving earlier in the morning, or take public transportation. Surround yourself with people that make you laugh and avoid people who cause you stress if possible.
- Make time to relax and to do activities you enjoy. Take time each day to sit quietly and breathe deeply. Make time for enjoyable activities or hobbies in your schedule.
7. Monitor your blood pressure and see your doctor regularly
Monitoring your blood pressure daily or everyother day can help you keep tabs on your blood pressure to make specific your lifestyle changes are working. Frequent home monitoring can help you detect problems early and avoid potential health complications. Blood pressure monitors are available widely and without a prescription. Talk to your doctor about home monitoring before you get started.
8. Get Support
Supportive family, friends or community can help improve your health. Joining a sports club, the reading group will expose you to people experiencing the same situation as yours,you can learn ways to improve your lifestyle and cope with your condition.
This article does not intend to replace your doctors' recommendations. please get in touch with your doctor for medical advice.