High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can damage your blood vessels, heart, and kidneys, leading to heart attack, stroke, and a host of other serious health problems. If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, it can be frightening, but take heart — in most cases, it can be lowered simply by making healthier lifestyle choices. While some of these changes are difficult to make, some are simple, and all are rewarded by a longer, happier, healthier life. Here are 7 ways to lower your blood pressure.
1. Quit Smoking!
Did you know that using nicotine can increase both your blood pressure and your heart rate? That’s in addition to all of the horrible things it can do to the rest of your body. If you have high blood pressure and you smoke, it’s just one more reason to quit!
2. Follow the DASH Diet
The DASH diet (which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) includes foods that are proven to help lower blood pressure, foods that are rich in calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Remember, studies have shown that, in order to gain the full blood pressure lowering effects, you can’t just get these nutrients from a supplement — you have to get them from foods like low-fat milk and cheese, plenty of whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
3. Avoid Sodium
In addition to following the DASH diet, you can lower your blood pressure by eating less salt. It’s amazing how much sodium we consume, and cutting back will help lower your blood pressure. If you’re worried about being stuck with tasteless food, don’t. There are so many salt substitutes and other seasonings, you won’t miss it!
4. Get Physical
If you have high blood pressure, you can lower it by getting regular physical activity. In addition, being active and following a healthy diet will help you lose weight, and losing weight can also lower your blood pressure. It’s a win-win!
5. Avoid Alcohol
It’s a fact: consuming alcohol will increase your blood pressure, so it’s wise to drink in moderation, or better still, not at all. Women shouldn’t drink more than one drink per day… this is just one small thing you can do to lower your blood pressure, and it’s very effective.
6. Get a Pet
Managing your reactions to the everyday stresses in your life will help lower your blood pressure, and getting a pet can help. Petting and caring for and loving a kitty or puppy will help you relax and manage stress, which in turn will lower your blood pressure… and you’ll enjoy the unconditional love of a pet, too.
7. Pharmaceutical Therapy
If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend medicine or pharmaceutical therapy, in addition to a combination of any of the above to lower it. There are several prescription drugs and supplements your doctor may recommend, including fish oil, Norvasc, and Atenolol. Always check with your doctor if you have any questions or problems with prescription drugs… and if you decide you don’t want to take it anymore, consult your doctor before stopping.
If you have high blood pressure, it’s important to do what you can to lower it, so you can live a long, happy, healthy life. A combination of these may be just the thing the doctor orders, so prepare yourself for a few new habits… and reap the benefits! If you have high blood pressure, how have you lowered it? Do you have any other tips for lowering blood pressure? Please share!
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