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10 Natural Ways To Lower Blood Pressure

10 Natural Ways To Lower Blood Pressure

There are a lot of people with higher than normal blood pressure these days. If your doctor has expressed concern about your blood pressure, don’t worry – there are ways to lower your blood pressure naturally, and hopefully you can avoid medication. However, if you leave it too long, it will be too late to lower it naturally and you’ll have to depend on medication. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease, kidney and heart failure, and stroke – to name a few! This condition is definitely worth taking seriously.

High blood pressure can be caused by a variety of issues: stress, existing health problems like kidney disease, genetics, obesity, too much sodium, and many more. Sometimes people look at a list like this and think “how will I ever find the time to fix all of this?” People lead busy lives these days, but these solutions won’t take too much of your time. In fact, by making different decisions each day, you can lower your blood pressure and impress your doctor! Here are 10 changes you can make that are proven to lower blood pressure:

1. Reduce Sodium Intake

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    This is probably the easiest and fastest one on the list. All you have to do is taking a quick look at the sodium amount listed in the nutritional content of any food and pick the healtheir option. Many restaurants are now listing which menu items are lower in sodium or fat content, so eating out won’t require too much added research either. You can also reduce sodium by gradually decreasing the amount of salt you add to your meals. Over time your taste buds will adapt and you won’t notice the difference.

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    2. Add More Vitamins and Minerals to Your Diet

    Pill Box

      Specifially, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium. All of these are proven to naturally lower blood pressure, and they all have other health benefits as well. For example, did you know that a high number of people don’t have enough magnesium? However, before taking any additional supplements, be sure to talk to your doctor, particularly if you are already on any other medications. Because of drug interactions, you may need to take these supplements at different times or you may not even be able to take one or two of them.

      3. Lower Your Blood Sugar

        High blood sugar is a growing problem because of all the refined sugars and carbs available today. (Too bad they are cheap and delicious!) You don’t necessarily have to elminate these foods completely, but if your blood pressure is very high, you may want to avoid them completely until your health is under control. After that, you can probably indulge in a sweet treat once in a while, but be careful not to overdo it. Another product that increases blood sugar is sodas and other sugary drinks. If you the fizz of these drinks and carbonation will make water easier to drink, try mineral water like Perrier or San Pelligrino. You can find them wih natural flavors like lime and lemon.

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        4. Try Some Cardio

        Man Running Outside Along Desert Trail

          Cardio is a good way to lose excess pounds and get your heart pumping, both of which will help to lower your blood pressure. Busy people don’t have time to spend hours at the gym, but you can get some excercise in throughout the day, just by making some changes. Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator whenever you have the option. If you work or live in a building where you are constantly taking the elevator, this alone will be a dramatic increase in your cardio exercise. You can also buy a step counter and wear it each day. Set some step goals and challenge yourself to increase the amount of steps you take each day.

          5. Weight Training

          weights

            Just like cardio, weight training can help you get in better shape which will result in lower blood pressure. If you don’t have time to hit the gym, try putting ankle weights on for part of the workday or using weights while watching Netflix in the evenings. You don’t have to carve out a hige amount of time to lift weights; you can get creative about it and do two things at once.

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            6. Yoga or Pilates

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              Relaxing and beathing deeper are two keys to lower blood pressure. Yoga will help you to breathe deeply, relax your body and your mind, and stretch out your muscles. Pilates will make you sweat a little more than yoga, but ithis low-impact exercise will also help you to relax and is good for your muscles and joints. If you have time, try to do one or both of these at least twice a week.

              7. Walking

              walking

                Something as simple as going for a walk can do wonders for your mind and your body. In addition to helping you lower your blood pressure, walking will help you to lose weight, realx your body, give you new perspective on a problem, and it also gives you a much needed break from your busy day. Try taking some time out of your lunch hour to go for a walk and enjoy the sights and sounds around you.

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                8. Sleep More

                sleep

                  Because of the nature of the typical Western lifestyle these days, sleep has become a precious commodity that no one gets enough of. Over time however, lack of sleep can be a cause of high blood pressure. If your sleep cycle has become disrupted after too many late nights and early mornings, you can try taking Melatonin, (consult your doctor first) a naturally-occuring sleep hormone in your body. You shouldn’t take too much of it, and it should only be used for a short time to get your sleep cycle back on track. You can also ask your doctor for something stronger to help you sleep. Your to-do list will have to wait until morning or the weekend to get some, because sleep is (and should be) very important.

                  9. Kick the Bad Habits

                  no smoking

                    If you smoke, it will be very hard for you to lower your blood pressure naturally unless you quit. If you are serious about it, there are many options available today that have made it easier for a lot of smokers to quit. Cognitive beavior therapy, the Nicotine Patch, and the Nicotine Inhaler have all been successful. If you drink too much, this will also cause your blood pressure to rise. However, a glass of red wine has been proven to help lower blood pressure. You can still have a drink to unwind after a busy day, but you may have to change your drink of choice.

                    10. Learn to Relax

                    Girl Sitting Alone On Swing In Autumn

                      We live in a fast-paced, busy world that demands we rush to get to work, rush to get things done, rush home to spend time with our kids before going to bed and starting all over again the next day. The stress of this lifestyle is taking a severe toll on our bodies, and high blood pressure is one of the results. If you want to lower your blood pressure naturally, this is one of the most important ways to do it. You can (and should) take care of all the other items on this list, but if you fail to learn to relax and destress, you will be fighting this battle with your body for the rest of your life. Stress is very powerful and can severely harm your body if left unchecked. To successfully lower your blood pressure you will have to find a ways to relax. You may need to go to counselling to learn how to destress, schedule some “me time” where no one will bother you, or even change your job. In the long run, stress is just not worth your health. You don’t have to do it all at once – start with small, managable steps like taking the long way home a couple times a week, scheduling a day off here and there to spend with your family, or making time for a massage a couple times a month.

                      Featured photo credit: Piotr Marcinski via shutterstock.com

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                      Last Updated on April 2, 2020

                      10 Quick Easy Workouts To Lose Arm Fat At Home

                      10 Quick Easy Workouts To Lose Arm Fat At Home

                      Flabby arms are something a lot of us have to tend to. If you find yourself buying a sweater or cardigan to go with your tank top or usually opt for the long-sleeved dress, then you’re not alone. Usually a result of genes, general excess fat or just ageing, it seems difficult to lose arm fat. The fat in our arms accumulates mainly around the triceps – the muscles on the back of your upper arm – and are prone to getting flabby if not exercised regularly.

                      What we eat can also play a part in the extent of the jiggle so eating a good, healthy balanced diet as well as keeping well hydrated can put you on the right track. Resistance exercises are the most effective way to blast that underarm fat as well as strengthen, shape and tone your muscles. You can always go down to the gym and work up a sweat but who has time for that? If you want a convenient and quick alternative then you can easily manage an effective routine in the comfort of your own home. All you need is a set of dumbbells and you can start toning up those bingo wings with these 10 easy workouts.

                      1. Tricep dips

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                        Works: Triceps

                        • Hands must be positioned shoulder width apart on a secured chair or bench.
                        • Position your bum in front of the bench with feet hip-width apart on the floor and legs bent.
                        • Straighten out your arms a little, keeping a slight bend from the elbow so to put more emphasis on the tricep and less stress on the elbow.
                        • Keeping your back close to the bench, slowly lower your body so that your arms are at a 90-degree angle.
                        • Once in this position slowly push off your hands back to the starting position.
                        • Do 10-15 reps.

                        2. Bicep curls

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                          Works: Biceps and shoulders

                          • Start off with your feet hip-distance apart, holding one dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing out.
                          • Starting with your left arm, bend your elbow to slowly bring the weight up to your shoulder holding the position for 5 seconds.
                          • Slowly release the elbow and straighten your arm back down to the starting position.
                          • Repeat the moves on the right side.
                          • Complete 3 sets of 10-15 reps for each arm.

                          3. Push ups

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                            Works: Triceps and Deltoids

                            • Lying face down, place your hands on the floor roughly shoulder-width apart.
                            • Tuck your toes under and gently lift your body up, pushing through your hands and making sure not to lock your elbows.
                            • Slowly bend your elbows bringing your face roughly 2-3 inches from the ground.
                            • Slowly push back up through your arms. If this is difficult then do the same move but keeping your knees on the floor.
                            • Repeat 10-15 times.

                            4. Tricep Kickbacks

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                              Works: Triceps

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                              • Place a weight in each hand and kneel down onto the floor with your toes tucked under.
                              • Bend your upper body forward from the hips up and bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle.
                              • Extend both your arms backwards while your palms are facing each other.
                              • Feel the tension in the triceps and return to the starting position.
                              • Do 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

                              5. Plank

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                                Works: Chest, Shoulders, Biceps and Core

                                • Start face-down on the floor, resting on your forearms and knees.
                                • Step your feet out so that they are slightly apart and come into the plank position.
                                • Make sure your body is straight, parallel to the floor and your bum is tucked in.
                                • Pull your abs in and hold the position for as long as you can. Try to aim for 20-30 seconds and build up to a minute.
                                • Repeat 3 times.

                                6. Tricep Extensions

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                                  Works: Triceps

                                  • Stand on a mat with your feet hip-width apart.
                                  • Hold one dumbbell with both hands behind your head, bending the elbows.
                                  • Bring the weight towards the ceiling, straightening your arms above your head.
                                  • Lower back to starting position.
                                  • Complete 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps.

                                  7. Lateral Arm Raises

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                                    Works: Deltoids

                                    • Stand with feel hip-width apart. With arms down the side of your body, hold a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing in.
                                    • Starting with your left side, inhale and slowly raise your arm so that it’s parallel to the floor. Make sure not to lock your elbow by keeping a slight bend.
                                    • Make sure your arm is straight and palm is facing the floor.
                                    • Exhale and slowly bring your arm back down to your side.
                                    • Repeat on the right side.
                                    • Do 10-15 reps on each side and two sets.

                                    8. Overhead Press

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                                      Works: Shoulders

                                      • Stand up, lining your feet with your hips and hold a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing out.
                                      • Bring the weights to your shoulders.
                                      • Keep your core muscles tight and straighten your arms above you.
                                      • Slowly bring your arms back down to your shoulders.
                                      • Do 3 sets of 10-15 reps.

                                      9. Bent Over Row

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                                        Works: Triceps and Biceps 

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                                        • Place your feet shoulder-width apart.
                                        • Bend your knees and and then bend your upper body forward from the hips making sure you keep your back nice and straight.
                                        • Make sure your hands are straight and placed under your shoulders.
                                        • Bend the elbows back while lifting your arms towards the sides of your chest, pulling your shoulder blades towards each other.
                                        • Slowly lower the weights in a controlled movement and feel the tension at your triceps.
                                        • Repeat 10-15 times.

                                        10. Skull Crushers

                                        Skull-Crushers

                                          Works: Triceps

                                          • While holding a dumbbell in each hand, lie on your back with your knees bent.
                                          • Slowly raise your arms so they are above your chest, making sure your elbows are straight but not locked.
                                          • Slowly lower both arms toward your head, bending your elbows to 90 degrees as the dumbbells reach the mat. Aim to lower your weights so they are on either side of your head  with elbows bent and pressing in toward your head (being careful not to hit yourself in the face).
                                          • Lift your arms back to starting position.
                                          • Complete 2 or 3 sets, 10-15 reps each.

                                          Featured photo credit: Maddi Bazzocco via unsplash.com

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