Unhealthy lifestyle leads to high blood pressure. And high blood pressure boosts the risks of leading killers such as heart attack and stroke, as well as aneurysms, cognitive decline, and kidney failure. If you successfully control your blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle, you might avoid, delay or reduce the need for medication. Let us explore few lifestyle changes which helps in control blood pressure:
1. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise for 30 minutes a day helps the heart to use oxygen more efficiently and can lower your blood pressure by 4 to 9 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Try to pick the aerobic exercises or the exercise which you like walking, running, swimming, cycling and try to stick to it, such as it will help to bring down your blood pressure.
2. Cut Salt intake
As per dietary guidelines it is recommended to intake of salt (or sodium) to less than 1,500 milligrams (600 milligrams of sodium) a day. Even a small reduction in the sodium in your diet can reduce blood pressure by 2 to 8 mm Hg. Try to stick to the natural food and avoid processed foods. While buying the food items, make sure to check the sodium content on the nutrition labels.
Also see: How to Fix Excess Salt in Food
3. Lose Weight
Excess weight makes your heart work harder. This extra strain can lead to hypertension, while losing weight lightens your cardiovascular workload. Losing extra pounds may be enough to get your blood pressure under control. Losing just 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) can help reduce your blood pressure.
4. Quit Smoking
Smokers are more prone to high blood pressure as tobacco and nicotine in cigarettes can cause spikes in the blood pressure. People who quit smoking, regardless of age, have substantial increases in life expectancy.
Also see: 7 Ways to Quit Smoking Naturally
5. Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol can lower your blood pressure by up to 14 mm Hg.
Try to consume potassium-rich fruits and vegetables at least 4,700 milligrams a day. Top sources of potassium-rich produce include sweet potatoes, tomatoes, orange juice, potatoes, bananas, kidney beans, peas, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and dried fruits such as prunes and raisins.
6. Practice Yoga
Yoga is a great stress buster. Yogic breathing exercises reduced blood pressure in people, possibly through their effects on the autonomic nervous system, which governs heart rate, digestion, and other largely unconscious functions.
Also see: 9 Yoga Poses You Can Do At Your Desk
7. Cut Alcohol
Research has found that consuming more than two drinks a day increases the risk of high blood pressure for both men and women. If you do drink, enjoy your alcoholic beverage with a meal, which may blunt its effects on blood pressure.
8. Reduce Stress
Managing the stress in your life effectively may help reduce your blood pressure. Chronic stress is an important contributor to high blood pressure. Occasional stress also can contribute to high blood pressure if you react to stress by eating unhealthy food, drinking alcohol or smoking. To release all of your tension, try 5 minutes in the morning and at night.
9. Skip Caffeine
Caffeine can raise blood pressure by tightening blood vessels and by magnifying the effects of stress. It is better to moderate your caffeine intake to about two cups of coffee per day.
10. Listen to Soothing Music
Try to listen to the soothing music as it will bring down your blood pressure. Make a habit to listen to soothing classical, Celtic, or Indian music for 30 minutes daily while breathing slowly.