If you successfully manage your blood pressure levels by following a healthy lifestyle you might avoid taking blood pressure medication or reduce its need. If you are relying on medications to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), then you have turned on to the right page as this contains information about alternatives that can help lower your blood pressure naturally and that too without side effects.
Can there be an alternative to anti-hypertensive agents?
If you have high blood pressure, you might think that the only way to decrease is to take a blood pressure medicine. But you might not aware of the fact that many groups of anti-hypertensive agents have serious side effects. However, hypertension drugs are needed in some cases; clinical experts suggest there is a variety of blood pressure treatments available that can help you reduce blood pressure naturally.
It is recommended to focus on lifestyle changes first, and medication only if necessary. Like other medications, anti-hypertension too carries the risk of side effects, so it’s always worth it to work on diet, stress management, and exercise first. Even if an individual with high blood pressure receives only partial benefits from lifestyle changes, it may still mean reduced medication usage or one with minimum side effects if necessary. Here is a list of some lifestyle changes that one can make to lower the blood pressure levels and keep it down:
- Reduce your waistline-One of the common causes of high blood pressure is increased weight. Being overweight can also lead to disrupted breathing while you sleep. The condition is often called as sleep apnea, which further increases your blood pressure. Losing extra pounds or keeping an eye on your waistline is one of the most effective lifestyle changes for controlling blood pressure. Having too much weight around your waistline can put you at a higher risk of developing hypertension. Men with a waist measurement of more than 40 inches are considered at high risk. On the other hand, women greater than 35 inches are more likely to have high blood pressure.
- Eat a healthy diet-A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products can help lower your blood pressure by up to 14mm Hg. It is not that easy to change your eating habits, but with these tips, one can adopt a healthy diet. Make a food diary and note down what you eat, even for a week, can help you change your eating habits. With food daily, you can monitor what you eat, how much, why and when you eat. Boost your potassium level in your body by eating potassium-rich food such as vegetables, and fruits. Potassium can reduce the effects of sodium on blood pressure. Eat smartly, Stick to your healthy eating plan even when you are dining out. Talk to your healthcare specialist about the appropriate levels of potassium in the body.
- Exercise regularly-Regular physical activity for at least half an hour 4 days a week can reduce your blood pressure by 4 to 9 mm Hg. It is important to be consistent with your physical activity because if you stop exercising, your blood pressure level can rise again. In case of prehypertension, exercise can help you avoid developing full-blown hypertension. If you already have high blood pressure, regular exercise can bring your levels down to an appropriate level. Walking, jogging, dancing, and swimming are the best type of exercises to lower blood pressure.
- Quit smoking-When you smoke a cigarette, it increases your blood pressure for many minutes after you finish. Stopping smoking can help your blood pressure return back to safer levels. According to research studies, people who quit smoking have substantial in life expectancy.
- Limit alcohol intake-Alcohol has advantages and disadvantages for your health. If taken in moderate amount, it can potentially lower your blood pressure by 2 to 4 mm Hg. But if consumed too much, its protective effect is lost. More than one drink a day for women and two per day for men is harmful to health. Drinking more than the recommended amount of alcohol can raise blood pressure by several points.
Paying attention to these lifestyle changes can lower blood pressure and offer multi-faceted health that can enhance your overall quality of life.