If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, or hypertension, you’re probably taking medication to help bring your numbers down. But do you know medication is not the only way to help you reduce your blood pressure? Lifestyle plays an important role in managing BP. Here are some easy steps on how to lower your blood pressure naturally.
Do you know what is hypertension? Learn more in our article ”What is high blood pressure and what does it really mean?”
Reduce your salt intake
Salt makes your body retain water, and if you have a high salt intake, the extra water stored in your body can raise your blood pressure. Limiting your sodium just a bit can reduce blood pressure by 2 to 8 mm Hg – which can be a significant improvement for many. You can easily track how reducing salt in your diet affects your blood pressure with QardioArm – our smart BP monitor designed to give deeper insights into your heart health.
When it comes to the right amount of salt, adults shouldn’t consume more than 6g a day but many of us eat triple this amount, mostly due to hidden salt in bread and even breakfast cereal. To reduce sodium intake, try reading food labels. Choose low sodium alternatives to the food that you like.
Exercising is a great approach to lowering blood pressure. Regular physical activity strengthens your heart, which can pump more blood through your body with less effort. If your heart pumps blood with less strain, the force on your arteries decreases, lowering blood pressure. It is estimated that 30 minutes of exercise four days a week can lower your blood pressure by 4 to 9 mm Hg. Some great exercises to lower blood pressure are swimming, jogging, biking, and walking.
Stress has a negative impact on your blood pressure. When stressed, your body releases hormones that cause your heart to beat faster and your blood vessels to narrow. This increases blood pressure levels. Take time to think about what might be stressful for you in your day-to-day life. Maybe it’s work, finances, family, or simply driving. Once you know what is causing your stress, try to eliminate it. Set time aside to relax regularly. There are plenty of healthy ways to cope with stress and QardioArm can help you track your most stressful times as well as locations. Just enable your geo-location feature PLACES and your app will tell you where your heart works the hardest. Knowing where you are stressed will help you find solutions to this anxiety and ultimately lower your blood pressure.
Are you eating healthy?
According to the Mayo Clinic, eating a diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol can improve your blood pressure too. Foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can also help reduce blood pressure. Try keeping a food journal to make the switch to healthy eating a bit easier. Food journals keep you accountable for all that you consume, which can help you monitor your diet.
Alcohol can increase blood pressure, and it can also reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications. Having more than three drinks in one sitting can temporarily increase your blood pressure, but long-term drinking can lead to lasting blood pressure problems. Alcohol is also high in calories and can cause weight gain – another risk factor for high blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, try limiting your alcohol intake to one drink per day.
Track your blood pressure
Checking your blood pressure at home is an excellent way to keep tabs on your heart health. QardioArm allows you to send detailed reports about your blood pressure between doctor’s visits to your healthcare provider, right from the comfort of your home. Plus, you can set reminders in the Qardio App so you never forget to take a measurement. Keeping QardioArm portable blood pressure monitor by your side is a great first step to naturally lowering your blood pressure.
Post contributed by Natalie Cassidy: An avid health and fitness enthusiast. Natalie enjoys creating new healthy recipes and hitting the gym as often as possible. She believes that a healthy lifestyle leads to a happy lifestyle.