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How To Lower High Blood Pressure Effectively

How To Lower High Blood Pressure Effectively

High blood pressure or hypertension is a notorious silent killer.

Its symptoms are so darn inconspicuous; direct signs usually show up when it’s already in a deadly, emergency level that can trigger a heart attack or stroke. High blood pressure is taking more than 1,100 lives in the US every day.

We don’t want to wait for that to happen, would we?

A holistic approach is best

Medication these days may seem to be the first and obvious choice—but that doesn’t have to be. You see, our blood pressure also increases as we age. Medication is advised for those aged 50 years old and above because they are more susceptible to cardiovascular risks. For adults, major factors that contribute to hypertension risks at an early age are usually caused by our lifestyle, if not our genes.

Our manner of living plays a crucial role in treating our high blood pressure. A holistic approach where you successfully control your blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle, you might avoid, delay, reduce or may even ditch the need for medication altogether.

1. Restrict salty foods in your diet

Let’s just say, salt or sodium makes our blood pressure shoot through the roof because it causes an imbalance to our delicate bloodstreams. Do reduce your intake of salt by:

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  • examining food labels and ingredients
  • eating less processed foods
  • eating less fast food
  • avoiding adding salt itself into your meals

2. Lose weight

If you are carrying extra pounds, reduce some… or a lot. Losing weight might be the best lifestyle change to make for controlling and lowering blood pressure. Overweight and obese people are prone to greater risks of high blood pressure, so heads up and start sweating!

To get you started, below are links to quick and effective ways to get fit:

9 Tips You Should Really Do When You Want To Lose Weight Fast

15 Unconventional Ways To Lose Weight Quickly

3. Exercise regularly

I can’t stress enough how important physical activities are in lowering blood pressure. Consistency is the key, not intensity, because once you’ve stopped exercising, your blood pressure can skyrocket again. I recommend cardio exercises such as:

  • walking
  • jogging
  • cycling
  • swimming
  • dancing

You may obtain a gym membership (and use it), hire a fitness trainer, or you can also develop your own exercise program.

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Before are additional links to help you boost your exercise regimen:

15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

7 Ways To Advance Your Workout Program

4. Moderate alcohol consumption

Small amounts of alcohol may potentially reduce blood pressure. Be wary not to drink alcohol as a first aid remedy if you’re having hypertension because an excessive intake of alcohol can make things worse. What’s more is that it can potentially reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medication in the future—yikes! Drink in moderation.

5. The DASH diet

The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet consists of eating lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grain, low-fat dairy foods, as well as a limited quantity of poultry, fish, meat, nuts, and beans.

It aims to systematically encourage people to consume less salt and increase the intake of calcium, magnesium, potassium to help lower blood pressure.

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6. Avoid or reduce stress as much as possible

Stress itself can trigger high blood pressure. Stress can also cause you to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes and munch on those (potentially salty) comfort foods sitting inside the fridge. Although we know what we are doing is important, stress, unfortunately, causes our mind and body to wear out.

Tips to avoid and reduce stress:

  • Know your triggers: it can be things, events or people, try to spend less time and attention on them.
  • Think of plans to solve problems that are under your control.
  • Take some time to channel the stress into something recreational and motivational. Like meditating or doing your exercise in forms of yoga instead of smoking.
  • Turn stress into productivity
  • Focus on things that turned out good. Develop a grateful attitude and count your blessings.

To help you flesh out the ideas mentioned, below are links to explain things for you:

How to Quit Smoking Efficiently

5 Ways To Turn Stress Into Productivity

7. Have your blood pressure checked

Monitoring your blood pressure is important so you can be certain if your lifestyle changes are working.

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Buy that familiar upper-arm cuff device (aka sphygmomanometer) if you don’t have one in your home – trust me, it’s a sound investment. Check your blood pressure 30 minutes before and after you eat, after exercise and before you go to bed.

Summing it all up

Relying solely on quick first-aid fixes is not advisable in this particular matter. Learn how to lower high blood pressure. High blood pressure could be asymptomatic in nature, so a healthy, not-so-stressful, less salty and less fatty diet is not a guarantee.

If something doesn’t feel quite right, pay your doctor a visit first and foremost. The doctor’s expert opinion will tell you whether you should take medication or you can regulate blood pressure through lifestyle changes outlined above or if you need to visit your doctor more frequently.

Featured photo credit: netdoctor.cdnds.net/ via netdoctor.cdnds.net

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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