An increased level of blood pressure is no joke. High blood pressure, or hypertension, can damage arteries, increase the risk of heart disease, aneurysms, stroke, and dementia, and more. If you have high blood pressure, then you can lower it naturally by making specific lifestyle changes. You may even find, after a time, that you no longer need medication to treat your hypertension!
Let’s find out how, shall we?
Lose some KGs
While a lot of the time it’s easier said than done, losing some of those extra kilos can really make a difference to your blood pressure. For those that are overweight (BMI of 25.0+), getting your BMI down to a healthy level will help to drop that BP. This is especially true if you are carrying extra weight around your waist. Consult a dietician for a comprehensive diet and exercise plan if you are struggling to lose weight on your own.
Try the DASH diet
DASH? What’s that? The DASH diet stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, and following the diet can reduce your blood pressure by up to 14 mm Hg. The fundamentals of the DASH diet include the following:
- 7-8 servings of grains per day
- 4-5 servings of veggies per day
- 4-5 servings of fruit per day
- 2-3 servings of low fat or no fat dairy per day
- 2-3 servings of fats and oils per day
- 2 or fewer servings of lean meat, poultry, and fish per day
- 4-5 servings of nuts, seeds, and beans per week
- 5 servings of sweets per week
Stick carefully to this diet to start seeing the results in as little as a few weeks.
Rethink the drink
Drinking in moderation is always good advice, but did you know that drinking can actually raise your blood pressure? If you haven’t already cut down, then now is the time. Men should enjoy 2 standard drinks per day, and women just one. Think of it as lifting the brain fog, too!
Meditation for the soul (and your blood pressure)
Meditation, with relaxing your mind, and breathing deeply and consistently can be an excellent way to improve your blood pressure without a major shock to the system. Meditation can be whatever you make it. Either choose meditation at your local Buddhist centre, a class at the local yoga studio, or download an app to practice at home. There are various types of meditation, so if one is not for you, then don’t give up – try a different type.
Work up to a healthy amount of exercise
Even if you’re not that active or fit, trying a range of different activities to see what suits you the most can be highly beneficial. While spin class may be beyond you, a walk every day with your partner, some yin yoga, tending to the garden, or gently jogging up and down the pool might be more your speed. Just 30 minutes of exercise a day can lower your blood pressure by 4 to 9 mm Hg.
While in isolation, each of these lifestyle changes can make a difference, for the most dramatic effects on your blood pressure combine each and every one of them.