Posted: 8 August 2017
Hypertension is a blood pressure reading above 140/90 mmHg (millimeters of mercury). If your Blood Pressure is high for a long period of time more dangerous side effects of the diagnosis can appear. High blood pressure puts you at risk for a number of serious health conditions such as:
- cardiovascular disease
- poor circulation
- damage to the heart muscle and tissue
- a risk of heart attack
- a risk of stroke
Life choices can help control and prevent high blood pressure. However, there isn’t a fast way to reduce your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is consistently high or abnormally high, you need to see your doctor.
Here are five life style changes that can help manage high blood pressure and may prevent future high blood pressure related issues.
Maintaining a healthy weight according to your body type helps blood pressure stay under control. If you have a few extra pounds you’ve been carrying around, it’s time to lose them. Weight control is critical for overall health and especially in controlling blood pressure.
High blood pressure along with extra weight is dangerous to long-term health. Being over weight can cause joint strain, poor circulation, stress on the skeleton system and added pressure to the heart muscle. Weight loss can also make your blood pressure medication more effective or even reduce the need for medication. Make losing weight your number one priority when working to control hypertension. If you question whether or not weight might be an issue for you, at your next doctor’s appointment ask to have your BMI or body mass index measured as well as you WHR or waist to hip ratio, these measurements help figure out if your weight is related to your hypertension.
A daily routine of exercise can have a huge impact on lowering blood pressure and decreasing excess weight. You don’t have to spend hours in the gym lifting barbells, simple aerobic exercise like cleaning the house or going for a walk can help lower blood pressure.
A great way to improve your BMI and decrease your blood pressure is to get regular exercise.The American College of Sports Medicine recommends a half hour minimum of moderate physical activity five days a week. By scheduling daily exercise you will also improve circulation, make your lungs stronger and heart more efficient.
If you’re not ready for strenuous exercise, start with a simple routine of stretching with gentle yoga. Stretching your muscles regularly can improve your circulation, reduce pain in your muscles, improve your posture, and in the long run may help reduce high blood pressure.
Reduce Sodium and Increase Potassium
Salt and high blood pressure are a bad combination. if you cut small amounts of salt from your diet, you can lower your blood pressure by as much as 8 mmHg. The American Heart Association recommends that you keep your sodium intake to no more than 1,500 milligrams (mg) a day.
Increasing your potassium intake can also offset the effects of sodium. Potassium is a mineral that is found in greens, apricots, and mushrooms, add these to your diet to increase your potassium to help control the effects of sodium. Potassium-rich foods such as tuna should be important part your diet, too. The AHA recommends that you limit your potassium intake to no more than 4,700 mg a day.
Stress can temporarily increase blood pressure. If you are overweight and at high risk from increased blood pressure you will need to pay attention to lowering your stress. Dealing with daily stress is the key, eating right and exercise can help to keep stress under control. Meditation is a great practice to adopt as well as breathing exercises to reduce stress and increase oxygen levels. Stay away from caffeine and instead reach for a chamomile tea to calm your nerves and manage daily stress.
Stop Smoking and Drinking Alcohol
Reducing the amount of alcohol you drink or eliminating it altogether may also improve your blood pressure readings. All alcohol including red wine which is thought to be the healthiest of alcohols has an adverse effect on your blood pressure. Limiting your alcohol intake to no more than one drink a day may significantly improve your blood pressure over time.
It is well known that smoking tobacco damages your heart health and may have long term effects on elevated blood pressure. Quitting isn’t easy but there are several methods available that may work for your form of medication to nicotine gum and even acupuncture. Being smoke-free can dramatically improve your overall health and help to control hypertension.