Hypertension or high blood pressure as commonly referred is a long-term medical condition in which the pressure in your arteries is elevated. Typically it is recorded as the Systolic blood pressure and Diastolic blood pressure which are the maximum and the minimum measurements respectively. The measures are in millimeters of Mercury (mmHg). High blood pressure is considered to be 140/90 mmHg or higher. Ideal blood pressure is supposed to be between 90/60 mmHg and 120/80 mmHg, while low blood pressure is typically around 90/60mmHg or lower.
Its causes are not, but the following factors increase the risk: obesity, high salt consumption, age, a family history of hypertension, smoking, high alcohol consumption among others. It can lead to heart diseases, heart attack, stroke, heart failure, peripheral arterial disease, kidney disease among other life-threatening conditions. Here are ten highly useful tips you can use to bring your blood pressure to normalcy.
Studies show that if you are overweight, losing weight is the most effective means of reducing increased blood pressure. Losing between 5 to 10 pounds will make a big difference. Also, you will lower your reduce your risk of other health conditions.
Regular exercise increases your heart and breathing rates hence strengthening your heart which pumps with less effort. Experts recommend regular aerobic activity lasting more than 30 minutes, three to four times weekly. You can do so by taking a walk, dancing, taking bicycle rides, playing a team sport or even using the stairs.
Lower Sodium Consumption and Take More Potassium
Reducing salt consumption can lower your blood pressure. You can do this by observing the recommended dietary intake of <2.4g of sodium per day. Consuming food that is low in sodium will also help.
Increasing your potassium intake reduces the tension in your blood vessels and also minimizes the effects of salt in the body. Foods rich in potassium include fruits such as bananas and avocados, vegetables such as spinach and tomatoes, low-fat dairy foods such as milk and yogurt and fish.
Take Healthy High-Protein Foods
A long-term study concluded in 2014 showed that people who ate more proteins had a lower risk of high blood pressure. Those who consumed 100 grams of protein per day lowered the risk by 40 percent. Foods that are high in proteins include poultry, eggs, cheese, fish, nuts, beans, and legumes.
Minimize Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates
Many studies prove that cutting down on sugars and refined carbohydrates can help you lose weight and lower your blood pressure. A low-carb diet not only helps you lose weight, but it also reduces your blood pressure by between 4.5 mmHg diastolic and 5.9 mmHg systolic. Besides, it keeps you fuller for longer as you are consuming more protein and fat.
The chemicals present in tobacco increase your blood pressure by narrowing your arteries, causing inflammation and damaging your blood vessels. The hardened blood vessels result in increased blood pressure. Stopping smoking is great for your health in general too.
Limit Alcohol and Caffeine-Based Drinks Consumption
Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to hypertension. The recommended amount is not more than three units per day for men and not more than two units per day for women.
Caffeine increases your blood pressure albeit temporarily. This reaction lasts 45 to 60 minute and varies in people. Caffeine-sensitive people are advised to cut down on coffee or try the decaffeinated coffee.
Family demands, unprecedented calamities, workplace issues are factors that can lead to an increase in your stress levels. Increased stress will impact adversely on your blood pressure. There are various ways to manage stress so find one that best suits you. Listening to music, watching comedy, taking walks, and meditation and yoga are some of the effective ways available.
Get Adequate Quality Sleep
Your blood pressure lowers when you sleep. You are at a higher risk of increased blood pressure if you don’t get enough sleep. Experts recommend that you sleep between seven to nine hours every day. Making your bedroom more comfortable, setting a regular sleep schedule, exercising during the day and avoiding daytime naps are some tips you can use to improve the quality of your sleep.
Take Prescription Medication
If your blood pressure level is high, your doctor may recommend prescription drugs. They may be taken alone or as a combination. If used with the above measures the treatment will be highly effective. Combining will minimize the possibility of blood pressure reverting to pre-treatment levels.
Hypertension is a long-term medical condition that increases the blood pressure in your arteries and can cause serious risks such as heart failure and stroke. The good news is that you can manage it by adopting the measures discussed above. Go ahead and try them. Won’t you?