Are you tired of taking a plethora of medications to lower your blood pressure?
Did you know hypertension strikes on in three American adults?
Learn the top lifestyle strategies that can make a real impact on lowering your blood pressure.
Close to one in every three Americans have hypertension, or high blood pressure. Medication is prescribed but that is not the only solution. There are lifestyle choices and strategies that have been proven to have an impact. For some, weight loss combined with exercise and a healthy eating plan may even reduce the need for medication altogether.
Your doctor can help you decide whether to take a combined approach (medication plus lifestyle) or whether to try following these healthy lifestyle strategies first:
1. Increase exercise
Aerobic exercise can lower blood pressure and can also help with weight loss. It doesn’t take a time-consuming workout in a gym to reap the benefits, either.
2. Cut your salt intake
One teaspoon (2,400 mg) is the maximum recommended daily amount. Reducing this to two thirds of a teaspoon (1,500 mg) can make a big difference.
3. Eat a healthy diet
Follow the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) guidelines. This has been shown to lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure, even without interventions.
4. Lose weight
For every two pounds of weight loss, you can lower your systolic pressure by one point and your diastolic pressure by 1.4 points.
5. Limit alcohol
Drinking a lot of alcohol can raise blood pressure.
- This means no more than one drink a day for women, two drinks for men.
- One drink is the equivalent of 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine or two ounces of hard liquor.
You can also help yourself to relax and cope better with stress from your busy life with these techniques:
- Simplify. Try to cut out activities that eat up your time but deliver little value. Learn to say “no.” Clean out your house, car and garage of things that you no longer need. Let go of relationships that complicate your life more than they add.
- Take a deep breath. Making a conscious effort to deepen and slow down your beathing can help you relax.
- Exercise. Physical activity is a natural stress-buster.
- Get plenty of sleep. Being sleep-deprived can make your problems seem bigger than they really are.
The key is to discover what works for you. Choose your strategies, take action and start enjoying the benefits. You can lower your blood pressure and help prevent other chronic diseases at the same time.