When your blood pressure is too high, it can affect your heart health, even leading to a heart attack. If your blood pressure rises, your doctor may discuss putting you on medication to help bring it back down to a healthy number. Unfortunately, all medication has potential side effects that might not be good for you. If you want to avoid medication if you can, consider some of these other ways to lower your blood pressure. Of course, you should always talk these choices over with your doctor to be sure they are a good choice for you.
1. Drop Some Weight and Keep Your Waist Small
Being overweight can cause your blood pressure to spike, but losing that weight can often reverse the effects. In fact, the Mayo Clinic says that dropping just 10 pounds can often help you lower your blood pressure. You can do this by cutting calories from your diet and increasing your physical activity. Keeping your waist (and the rest of your body) slim and trim is a sure fire way to control blood pressure.
2. Cut Back on Sodium when You Eat
A diet high in salt can cause your blood pressure to rise to unhealthy levels. Unfortunately, there is salt hiding in all kinds of foods and cutting back is going to take some effort. You want to read labels carefully to avoid foods that are too high in sodium. At the same time, you want to limit how often you shake the salt onto your meals. By doing both of these things, you may be able to bring your blood pressure back down to the normal range.
3. Lower Your Alcohol Intake
The occasional drink isn’t going to do you in, but regularly consuming too much booze can raise your blood pressure. Experts say that any more than one drink per day can cause your blood pressure to go up. And you can’t save them all up for one day either. That’s called binge drinking and it will harm your health in a myriad of ways, including your blood pressure.
4. Avoid Eating out Too Often
Restaurants, both sit down and fast food, are notoriously high in salt. They use it to give the food a really great flavor. Dining out now and then is totally fine, but if you never cook and always eat in restaurants, you aren’t doing your blood pressure any favors. When you cook at home, you can control the amount of salt that goes into your meals, helping control your blood pressure at the same time.
5. No More Cigarettes…Ever
There are so many reasons why you should give up the cigarettes for good and your blood pressure is just one of them. Every time you light up, you raise your blood pressure. Over time, this can lead to heart disease. However, quitting the smokes improves your health almost immediately so today is definitely the day to give them up.
6. Practice Stress Relieving Techniques
This is easier said than done, but stress is major contributor to elevated blood pressure. It’s not always easy to control the amount of stress you’re under, but taking action can really help lower your blood pressure. Take a yoga class, mediate every day or try a warm bath to lower stress. Whatever you do, it will be a good choice.
7. Create a Support Network
It’s hard to lower your blood pressure when your bestie wants you to go for cocktails or your kids are screeching for their dinner. Make sure the people around you know that you are working on your health so that they can back you up. The people who truly care about you won’t hinder your new habits, but you have to let them know so they are in on it.
Is your blood pressure too high? What are you doing to bring it down?