High blood pressure (aka hypertension) is one of the most common health problems affecting people in the United States.
And it can be quite serious. This disease can lead to other health problems such as heart attack, stroke, and heart failure, among others.
Controlling and lowering blood pressure is no easy task. However, it can be done. Below, find 5 of the best things you can do which have been proven to lower blood pressure.
5 Proven Ways To Lower Blood Pressure
Eat Healthy Food, Exercise, And Lose Weight
Okay, this may sound like 3 things. And, technically they are. But they are all highly related.
Losing weight through eating the right foods and exercise is about the best thing you can do to lower blood pressure (and for so many other health benefits).
The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) was developed expressly to help lower blood pressure. It places a strong emphasis on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. The diet also recommends that you eat more of the following foods:
- Fruits and vegetables, particularly berries, which are strong in antioxidants
- Whole grains
- High-protein foods, such as unsalted almonds
- Foods high in potassium and magnesium, such as leafy greens and beans
- Calcium-rich foods, such as low-fat yogurt
Physical activity, particularly aerobic exercise, is extremely helpful at lowering blood pressure. Aerobic activity causes blood vessels to expand and contract, allowing them to remain flexible.
Drink Less Alcohol And Smoke Less
The first way is to become healthy by doing healthy activities. This one is being healthy by avoiding unhealthy habits.
Limiting oneself to one alcoholic drink per day (for women) or two drinks per day (for men) can lower your systolic blood pressure by 2 to 4 points (for men).
Quitting smoking is also a great way to help you lower your blood pressure and live longer.
Eat Less Salty Foods
Most individuals consume far too much salt without even realizing it. According to the American Heart Association, the average American consumes approximately 3,400 mg of sodium each day.
However, the recommended daily dosage is 2,300 mg, with a lower limit of fewer than 1,500 mg per day – especially for those with high blood pressure.
Get Enough Sleep
When you sleep, your blood pressure, like many other bodily functions, such as your heart rate and breathing rate, decreases. If you don’t get enough sleep, your blood pressure will remain elevated for a longer period of time.
It’s normal to get stressed out every now and then. But what we’re talking about here is reducing chronic stress.
Some things that can help reduce chronic stress are:
- Yoga and tai chi
- Listening to soothing music
- Take a walk
- Deep breathing
Also, if you are aware that something or someone is causing you undue stress, try to avoid it/them as much as possible.