High blood pressure significantly increases the odds of having a heart attack or a stroke and even early death.
According to a study, it is responsible for 7.6 million deaths worldwide each year, more than any other risk factor. And the scary fact is that more than 700 million people are living with untreated hypertension.
That’s why the first step is to know your numbers. While consulting a doctor is always the best idea, here are some solutions they might suggest:
Lose extra pounds and Exercise regularly
For every 20 pounds you lose, your systolic blood pressure will drop by 5 to 20 points. Indeed, losing just 10 pounds can help lower your blood pressure if you’re overweight. Ideally, it would be best if you got your body mass index to a healthy point between 19 and 24. A good mix of diet and exercise is the way to go forward in your weight loss journey.
Regular exercise can strengthen your heart and make it more efficient at pumping blood while lowering artery pressure. A few hours of low-intensity exercise per week, such as walking, or short high-intensity workouts a few times a week, such as sprinting, helps lower blood pressure and improve heart health.
Experts also recommend high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for people with hypertension. HIIT involves short bursts of intense activity followed by low-intensity recovery periods. It is a proven way to reduce your blood pressure significantly.
Eat a Healthy Diet
While you should watch how much you put in your body. It’s just as important to have a proper nutrition plan. Many experts believe that the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) programme is the optimal diet for regulating and lowering blood pressure. Follow it, and your systolic blood pressure will drop by 8 to 14 points. And the best thing is the diet is quite simple:
- Eat more fruits, greens, and low-fat dairy foods;
- Cut back on foods that are high in cholesterol, saturated and trans fats;
- Eat more fish, poultry, and whole-grain foods;
- Limit sweets, sugary drinks, and red meats;
Research shows that people following the DASH diet reduced their blood pressure significantly within a month.
Drink in Moderation
Alcohol can have both positive and negative effects on your hypertensive heart. According to some studies, drinking in moderation can potentially help lower your blood pressure. However, if you consume too much alcohol, this protective effect is lost.
Drinking more than moderate amounts of alcohol can cause a significant increase in blood pressure. It may also negate the effects of blood pressure medications.
Cut down the Nicotine
Every cigarette you smoke raises your blood pressure for several minutes after you put it out. While quitting smoking may seem like an impossible task, it allows your blood pressure to return to normal gradually. It can lower the risk of heart disease as well as improve your health in many other ways.
Consider including Magnesium Supplements in your diet
Magnesium is an essential mineral that aids in the relaxation of blood vessels. However, most people do not get enough of it. Some studies suggest that a lack of magnesium is associated with high blood pressure.
That’s why eating a magnesium-rich diet is recommended to prevent high blood pressure. However, it’s always possible to get the required magnesium from your diet. Hence, many experts recommend adding Magnesium Supplements to your everyday nutrition plan.
Reduce your Stress
However, more research is needed to figure out how stress affects blood pressure; it is well established that chronic stress plays a role in high blood pressure. Also, people tend to respond to stress by smoking, drinking alcohol and eating unhealthy foods. These are direct contributors to an increase in blood pressure.
To eliminate stress from your life, first, you need to identify the reasons behind it, be it your work, finances or family. This step is half the process. To navigate you through the rest of the course, here are some tips for you:
- Listen to calming music: Soothing music can help relax your brain. Studies have shown it works well in complement to other blood pressure treatments.
- Work less: Hustle work culture, and stressful work environment, are linked to high blood pressure. You may want to take a break if you find yourself being stressed at your workplace.
- Try out Therapy: If you suffer from chronic stress and related issues, consulting a therapist might be the best solution for you.
Over to you…
If you suffer from chronic hypertension, healthy lifestyle changes like these might not be enough. You may need to consult your doctor for specific care and medications to lower your blood pressure.
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