One in seven people in the world suffers from high blood pressure. That is 1.1 billion people that suffer from a potentially fatal problem.
High blood pressure is linked to increased chances of heart disease, heart attack, and early death. Therefore, it is important to get a grip on that sucker.
Excess weight means increased amounts of fat tissue, which places additional pressure on your artery walls. Therefore, in order for the heart to properly pump blood throughout your entire body, it must work harder. This causes increased tension on your artery walls, which leads to high blood pressure.
This is great news! You are the master of your destiny. Get yourself on a weight loss program and kick that pesky high blood pressure to the curb.
2. Consistent Exercise Will Lower Your Blood Pressure
As the modern era has dawned upon us with all our dreaded machines and office jobs (thanks to the industrial revolution), the general physical activity level of people has decreased significantly. That lack of physical activity has contributed to higher rates of obesity, which directly affects blood pressure.
Again, this is something you control. By starting a simple exercise regimen of 30 minutes per day, you can lower your blood pressure.
3. Processed Foods Hurt More Than Help
Processed foods are easy to spot. They are generally foods you find in either a package or a restaurant. They contain crazy amounts of sodium and fatty acids. Excessive amounts of these nutrients are linked to hypertension, which is pressure on the artery walls.
The best thing to do here is to avoid processed foods as much as possible. So no to that Big Mac and yes to a good old fashioned PB&J.
4. Do Not Overconsume Sodium
Elevated blood pressure from overconsumption of sodium begins at the kidneys. The kidneys filter unwanted fluid from your blood cells. It does this with a balanced combination of sodium and potassium.
When the balance of the two nutrients is broken, the kidneys fail to filter out the unwanted fluid. The excess of unwanted fluid causes an elevation in your blood pressure.
Because the balance between sodium and potassium is essential, it is important to pay attention to the amount of sodium you consume daily. It is recommended that the average person consumes no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day.
5. Reduce Caffeine Consumption
Caffeine consumption is linked to increased hypertension. Whether you have optimal blood pressure or are hypertensive, caffeine causes a spike in blood pressure that is potentially unhealthy.
A recent study concerning coffee, a commonly consumed caffeinated beverage, found that the link between coffee and hypertension may be unfounded. However, it is best to limit excessive coffee drinking habits.
However, as a general rule, a reduction in your caffeine consumption will lead to better blood pressure results.
6. Limited Alcohol Consumption
There is a clear link between increased blood pressure and alcohol consumption, though the exact reason why is elusive. Many hypothesize the main reasons to be the imbalance to the central nervous system and general inflammation that alcohol causes.
So, getting flat out drunk on a regular basis does not seem to be a good idea. Consume those brewskies sparingly and you will begin to see improvement.
7. Potassium And Magnesium Are Your Friends
Potassium helps your blood pressure in two ways. First, it expels excessive amounts of sodium from your body. Second, it eases tension on the walls of your blood vessels.
Magnesium is the master regulator of all your body systems. It regulates blood sugar levels, muscle function, and nerve connectivity.
Increase your intake of potassium and magnesium.
8. Swap Out Milk Chocolate For Dark Chocolate
If you are a chocolate lover with hypertension, then there is a reason to rejoice. It appears that dark chocolate has a positive effect on blood pressure.
A recent Harvard study found that 50 to 70 percent of 1,106 participants experienced positive effects to their blood pressure when consuming dark chocolate. The results were particularly staggering for those with hypertension, as their blood pressure rates became normal.
So, swap out your milk chocolate, which is high in processed sugars and sodium, for the healthier choice of dark chocolate.
9. Stop Smoking
This may be the least surprising way to reduce hypertension. It may be time to part with that pack of Marlboros you have grown to love so much.
When it comes to cigarettes, the nicotine is the major culprit. Nicotine causes your artery walls to become hard and narrow. As if that were not enough, nicotine also makes your blood thicken and more likely to clot in your arteries.
Go ahead and save yourself both time and a potential heart attack. Start getting rid of your smoking habit.
10. Limit Your Stress
When it comes to blood pressure, not all factors are purely biological. The emotional function of our minds also causes changes in our health as it leads to the production of different hormones.
Stress produces something called vasoconstricting hormones. That is a fancy term for saying stress produces hormones that put a strain on our heart and its arteries.
If you experience regular bouts of stress in your life from a job or relationship, it may not be a bad idea to seek help in managing that stress. A reduction in the level of your stress will improve your blood pressure, as the vasoconstricting hormones are not produced regularly.
11. Regularly Check Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is not a one and done condition. It isn’t like a cold, where you have it one moment and then it is gone.
High blood pressure is a chronic symptom in that it is a continuous problem. Therefore, it is important to check your blood pressure regularly to detect how often you are above normal. If you find that you are above normal ranges more often than not, it is time to consult with a doctor to improve your blood pressure.
This suggestion may have been laughed at ten years ago. However, recent studies have discovered the benefits of meditation on blood pressure.
There are several methods of meditation. One such method is to achieve mindfulness. The reason behind this is because it helps its adherents reduce stress at the moment and learn automatic stress coping mechanisms for future situations.
Channel your inner Buddha and practice meditation for fifteen minutes per day to improve your blood pressure.
13. Try Natural Supplements
These natural supplements may be beneficial for improving blood pressure. Be sure to consult with your physician before trying any of these, as each person responds differently to supplements:
– Folic Acid
– Vitamin D
– Coenzyme Q10
– Fish Oil Omega-3s
14. Get Adequate Amounts Of Sleep Each Night
In recent years, there has been a strong correlation detected between sleep and hypertension. Your sleeping patterns have a significant effect on your blood pressure during the day, as well as during the time you sleep.
Sleep is directly related to your ability to cope with stress. If you are sleep deprived, situations that are otherwise normal become stressful.
Be sure to establish a good bedtime routine to obtain adequate amounts of sleep, particularly REM sleep. Experts recommend eliminating the presence of blue light (light emitted from computers, televisions, or phones) to increase sleep quality.
15. Develop A Support System
Just like any major undertaking in your life, it is important to gather a good support group around you to be successful.
Let your close family and friends know about your blood pressure issues. Let them know what they can do to help, whether it is to stop smoking, improve your diet, or just be a positive influence to you.
Blood pressure is directly affected by your lifestyle. Improvements in your lifestyle will lead to improvements in your health.
Take action. If you are overweight, lose weight. If you don’t exercise regularly, then exercise regularly. If you have a poor diet, then improve your diet.
Make the necessary improvements, whatever they might be, and you will see a positive change in your blood pressure.