8 ways to a healthy blood pressure
It is estimated that by the year 2025, 214 million Indians will be suffering from hypertension. Unlike earlier times, youngsters too are being diagnosed with hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. Stressful lifestyle and poor dietary habits contribute to this increasing affliction. Known as the ‘silent killer’, it is hard to identify high blood pressure as it seldom has any symptoms.
Here are a few ways to control high blood pressure without medication:
- Regular exercise: Being physically active is probably the best way to prevent a host of diseases. 30 to 60 minutes of exercise almost all days of the week will lower your blood pressure by 4 to 9 millimetres of mercury (mm Hg). Light strength training, jogging, brisk walking will do wonders in keeping you fit. It is also important not to be a ‘weekend warrior’ and try to fit in all the week’s exercise in a day.
- Eat a healthy diet: Include fresh fruits and vegetables in your meals, cut down on oily and spicy food, and limit your salt intake. This will ensure you have a healthy cardiovascular system
- Cold water fishes which are ‘wild caught’, nuts, olive oil are a boon for anyone wanting to regulate blood pressure.
- Limit your alcohol intake: If taken moderately, alcohol can help lower blood pressure to 2 to 4 mm Hg, but excess of it will not only raise your blood pressure but also reduce the effectiveness of high blood pressure medications. Red wine is known to be good for the heart as it has antioxidants. Also, if you do not drink, you shouldn’t start just to lower your blood pressure.
- Lose a few pounds: No matter how difficult it may be, losing weight will help a great deal if you are having high blood pressure. The more you lose weight, the better it is to control your blood pressure.
- Stop smoking: Perhaps the worst habit for anyone battling hypertension, smoking causes your blood pressure to shoot up by 10 mm Hg or more for almost an hour after you smoke. Smoking throughout the day means constant high blood pressure. Even passive smokers are at risk and should ensure they do not inhale second-hand smoke.
- Cut back on caffeine: Caffeine increases pulse rate and stimulates blood pressure temporarily. Try cutting down on tea, coffee and soft drinks which are the main source of caffeine.
- Reduce stress: One of the primary sources of hypertension is stress. To combat stress, first one needs to identify what causes stress. It could be work, family, finances or any illness. A healthier way to deal with stress needs to adopted. Meditation and simple breathing exercises help a lot to de-stress instantly. If it still doesn’t work, seek professional help in countering stress.
- Monitor blood pressure: When one goes to a clinic to check his/her blood pressure, chances are the anxiety will result in increased blood pressure. Hence it is very advisable to regularly monitor the blood pressure using portable blood pressure monitors twice a day at home. The blood pressure should be noted down and the results should be analysed.
- Try making your surroundings more pleasant by photos of loved ones and inspiring quotes. Positive people generate good vibes, good vibes result in better moods and thus helps lower blood pressure. A recent study also suggests that socializing with friends once a week and having a good laugh result in a healthy lifestyle.
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