Did you know medication isn't the only option when it comes to lowering your blood pressure? There are a number of healthy-lifestyle changes you can make to your daily routine to help bring your levels back down. From exercises to diets, we have some of the top tips for getting your health back on track:
There are a number of exercises you can try, because the movement will help your heart use oxygen more efficiently.1 As a result, your ticker won't have to work so hard to get your blood pumping. Cardio workouts are best for high blood pressure patients, and sometimes there's nothing better than hitting the pavement for a power walk. The key is to exercise regularly and for 30 to 60 minutes when you do. You may want to plan a specific routine with your doctor.
When planning your menu for lowering blood pressure, of course you need to keep it healthy. Up your potassium intake with fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy products. As for the meat of your meals, opt for lean selections and fish. Try to cut sodium and saturated fats from your menu whenever possible. Eating Well magazine suggests finding recipes that are high in fiber and low in cholesterol.2 Don't forget to take into consideration the nutrition facts on the labels of beverages as well. Plus, an excess of alcohol or caffeine is bad for blood pressure.
It's not news that tobacco products are unhealthy. When it comes to blood pressure, the nicotine that comes along with smoking can increase it. So, avoid smoking and secondhand smoke at all costs if you're serious about lowering yours. It can also help to reduce your risk for heart disease, according to the Mayo Clinic.3 Other lifestyle changes you'll want to try making include reducing stress and anxiety – this can be especially difficult when the cause is work. Work on lowering both through deep-breathing exercises, meditation or a lovely massage.
As great and important as these tips for healthy living are, you will likely need medical assistance in lowering your blood pressure. Be sure to regularly monitor your pressure at home so that you know whether or not these changes are being effective. It's also key to make and attend regular appointments with your doctor. It's especially important to touch base with your doctor on a monthly basis if you have recently changed your methods for treatment. This will provide you with insight to your progress, and can help to encourage healthy-living changes when you find out how much the diet and exercise are helping.
1 ABC News, "13 Natural ways to lower your blood pressure" May 26, 2013
2 Eating Well, "High blood pressure diet recipes and menus"
3 Mayo Clinic, "10 ways to control high blood pressure without medication" July 19, 2012