High Blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke which are both in the list of the leading causes of death. Unfortunately, about 75 million adults in the United States have hypertension. An optimal blood pressure is that which is lower than 120/80 mm Hg. The measurement of your blood pressure depends on two numbers.
The numerator is systolic blood pressure while the denominator is diastolic blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure measures the pressure of blood in your vessels during your heart beats. Whereas diastolic blood pressure is the pressure of blood when your heart rests in between beats.
If your blood pressure is 130/80 mm Hg or more it is considered high. If you have persistent high blood pressure that is a serious health concern. However, if your blood pressure is only slightly high you may not require medication. This is because you can lower such high blood pressure through some lifestyle changes. That said, here are 8 ways you can bring down high BP markers:
1 – Make dietary alterations
Salt in your diet is your biggest enemy. Lower your sodium intake along with increasing potassium which eases blood vessels and counters the effects of salt. For lessening salt in your system, follow the DASH diet. Additionally, also consume less refined carbs and sugar. This will help lower blood pressure and control weight as well. Avoid processed foods too as those contain these harmful ingredients the most.
2 – Stop smoking and drinking
Alcohol can elevate blood pressure levels. Even apart from causing your BP to rise, the beverage has many negative side effects on your overall health. Next up is smoking which is also awful for your heath in many ways. It can bump up your blood pressure levels as well as heart rate. The tobacco in cigarettes damages the walls of blood vessels and leads to inflammation. It also causes the narrowing of arteries.
3 – Exercise and try yoga
Exercising regularly can improve your blood pressure as any medication can. Physical activity increases your heart and your breathing rate. It lessens pressure on your arteries and strengthens your heart. Apart from adding moderate to intense exercises to your routine for 40 minutes 3 to 4 times a week also increase physical activity in simple ways. For instance, take the stairs, do house chores, etc. Yoga can also be helpful in this regard as it lowers stress and controls breathing.
4 – Stress less and sleep enough
You should sleep an ample number of hours to lower your risk of hypertension. Get at least 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Any less or more than that can cause your blood pressure levels to rise. To get proper restful sleep, set a sleep schedule and avoid taking daytime naps. Furthermore, stress is also harmful for your BP levels. Keep your stress low to keep your blood pressure maintained by means of walking, meditating, reading a book, etc.