Do you have high blood pressure?
High blood pressure is one of the most common medical conditions in the world. An estimated one billion people worldwide suffer from high blood pressure, with many facing extremely elevated levels that present a variety of health dangers.
While many people treat their high blood pressure with medication, it’s possible to lower your blood pressure naturally by making changes to your diet, lifestyle, body composition and more.
In this guide, we’ll share 10 techniques that you can use to lower your high blood pressure and live a healthier life. These techniques aren’t exclusive; by using more than one, you can significantly increase the positive effects on your health.
Note: It’s important to speak with your doctor before starting an exercise routine or diet, especially if you have highly elevated blood pressure.
Start exercising frequently
Exercise is one of the best ways to lower your blood pressure. Regular exercise (at least half an hour of moderate-intensity exercise per day) is enough to lower both your systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 4-9 mmHg – a significant reduction.
Start eating a healthier diet
The better your diet, the more likely it is that your blood pressure will fall within a healthy range. Eat more complex carbohydrates, lean meats and vegetables and less processed food, particularly food that’s high in saturated fat and sodium.
Lower your alcohol consumption
Along with fatty, unhealthy food, alcohol can have a major negative effect on your blood pressure. While small amounts of alcohol have a neutral (occasionally even positive) effect on your blood pressure, excessive drinking can severely raise it.
Eat fewer high-sodium foods
In addition to saturated fat, sodium is a major cause of high blood pressure. Keep your daily sodium intake below 2,300 milligrams per day to improve your health and lower your blood pressure by 2-8 mmHg.
Focus on losing excess body fat
The bigger your waistline, the more likely you are to have high blood pressure. If you are overweight, losing weight – especially losing fat around your waist – is an excellent way to lower your blood pressure and improve your general health.
Reduce your caffeine intake
Although there’s no proven link between caffeine consumption and long-term high blood pressure, drinking coffee and other caffeinated beverage can result in a short-term blood pressure spike. Limit yourself to one cup of coffee per day, at most.
Make long-term lifestyle changes
Changing your diet for a week will have a positive effect on your health, but making a long-term change is always a better decision. Don’t think of these tips as easy ways to reduce your blood pressure in the short term, but as long-term lifestyle changes.
Stop smoking cigarettes and cigars
If you’re a smoker, you could be raising your blood pressure by 10 mmHg or more after every cigarette. Like caffeine, the nicotine in tobacco products such as cigars and cigarettes temporarily raises your blood pressure and creates health risks.
Enjoy more stress-free relaxation
The more relaxed you are, the lower your blood pressure will be. If you are stressed or anxious, your blood pressure temporary might temporarily increase, resulting in a range of health effects. Take frequent breaks and focus on eliminating stress.
Monitor and track your results
It’s important to monitor your blood pressure levels frequently. Track your results once per week to see how your long-term lifestyle changes – from exercise and diet to relaxation or quitting smoking – are improving your blood pressure readings.