If you’re struggling with high blood pressure, you might be wondering how to reduce your blood pressure without relying on medication. Certain lifestyle choices can actually harm your health and increase your blood pressure, but there are ways to combat this. If you’re looking to improve your overall health and reduce your blood pressure without medication, read on for some helpful tips that will help you to reduce your blood pressure and achieve better health.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is the first step in managing your blood pressure. This is because being overweight can cause high blood pressure, especially if you carry extra weight in your midsection. Losing as little as 10 pounds can significantly reduce your blood pressure if you are overweight.
Regular exercise is beneficial for your overall health, but if you have high blood pressure, adding as little as 30 minutes of exercise per day can lower your systolic blood pressure (the top number) on average by 5 points. Besides lowering your blood pressure, regular exercise can help strengthen your muscles, including your heart, reduce stress levels, and increase endurance.
Do Not Smoke
Smoking cigarettes is one of the worst things you can do to your body. Even exposure to secondhand smoke can lead to serious health consequences. The chemicals found in cigarettes cause damage to your heart and blood vessels, raising your blood pressure and heart rate. This is because cigarette smoke reduces the amount of oxygen found in your blood, which causes the heart to have to work harder to supply enough oxygen to your vital organs. If you smoke, you should quit as soon as possible. Once you quit smoking, your risk of heart disease starts to decrease almost immediately, and within a year, your risk of heart disease can reduce by half.
Eat a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet can lower your blood pressure by up to 10 points. If you have high blood pressure, you should aim to eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and foods low in saturated fats and cholesterol. Eating a healthy diet can also help you to lose weight which can also help to reduce your blood pressure.
Reduce Salt Intake in Your Diet
According to the American Heart Association, most Americans consume too much salt daily. On average, people consume about 3400 mg of sodium per day when the recommended daily salt intake is 2300 mg. Reducing the amount of sodium in your diet can improve your blood pressure if you have hypertension.
Limit Alcohol Intake
It is recommended that women consume no more than one drink per day and men no more than two drinks per day. Drinking more than the recommended amount of alcohol can cause an increase in your blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, you should aim to drink less than the recommended amount of alcohol to help reduce your blood pressure.
Stress can wreak havoc on your whole body, especially your blood pressure. Chronic stress causes an increase in heart rate and constricts blood vessels which can increase your blood pressure. To reduce the stress in your life, try practicing yoga, meditating, or listening to soothing music.
Get Good Sleep
A good night’s sleep can benefit your overall health, especially your blood pressure. Research has shown that getting fewer than 6 hours of sleep per night can contribute to high blood pressure. Most experts suggest getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night to decrease your blood pressure. Getting adequate rest can also lower your risk of other serious health problems like obesity and diabetes.
You can do many things to help reduce your blood pressure, and Johns Creek Primary Care is here to help guide you along your health journey. Make an appointment today to discuss with your doctor how to reduce your blood pressure without medications.