High blood pressure is a health problem worldwide. Over 30% of adults in the U.S. population have been diagnosed with hypertension and it’s estimated that only half of them have their disease under control. That being said, it’s vital that people who have it or are at risk of contracting it reduce their blood pressure naturally. That way, they will be free from the common side effects that medication usually produces. Here are the top five ways to lower your blood pressure without harming yourself.
Research has shown that regular exercise reduces high blood pressure. Surprisingly, low and moderate intensity exercise are as effective as high-intensity exercise for treating this health issue. According to research, exercising 30 minutes daily for at least four days a week will lower your blood pressure by 4 to 9 mg. Exercising can also help you avoid this malady in case you still don’t have it but have been told that doctors there’s a high chance that you’ll develop it in the future. Aerobic exercise is the best alternative for treating high blood pressure. You can exercise by walking, hiking, biking, or swimming, and even dancing – all of them work.
2. Eat Less Salt
By reducing your salt (and sodium) intake, you can reduce your blood pressure by up to 8 mg. Experts recommend eating less than 2,300 mg of Sodium a day to start seeing benefits in this regard. To do this, you may want to start reading food labels to count and limit the number of mg of Sodium you eat daily. Usually, avoiding processed foods will help you to achieve this. The easiest way is to not use salt altogether with your meals. If this sounds like a hard thing to do, you can do it gradually instead of quitting cold turkey.
3. Eat Potassium-rich Foods
Just as you have to limit your Sodium levels, you have to increase your Potassium intake. According to experts at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, eating between 2,000 and 4,000 mg of Potassium a day will help at bringing your blood pressure levels down. Some of the main foods that contain Potassium are sweet potatoes, potatoes, bananas, oranges, tomatoes, and raisins among others.
4. Change Your Diet
We are what we eat. You should eat as many natural foods as possible. There is something known as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension Diet. This diet plan says you should eat foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products that are low in fat. Also keeping certain components such as alcohol and caffeine away is a good tactic as well. Your family’s support when choosing this approach is essential. If they don’t support you, you may consider joining a support group that emphasizes the importance of a proper diet and a healthy lifestyle in general.
Richard Stein, a doctor, and director of a health department at the New York University states that meditation can be seen as a 30-minute vacation away from the stresses of daily life. He also says that reducing stress in life will improve your cardiovascular health by lowering your blood pressure. A study made in 2012 also proved this statement. In the study, the participants who engaged in a meditation practice had 48% fewer chances of having a stroke or a heart attack than those who didn’t. It’s very important that you choose the meditation style you are most comfortable with. This way, you will actually enjoy the whole process.