Five effective ways to manage your blood pressure

·3 min read
Doctor checking the blood pressure of a patient
Doctor checking the blood pressure of a patient

High blood pressure or hypertension does not show any symptoms but may be an important cause of heart diseases, including heart attack and stroke. It is always referred to as the ‘silent killer’ and should never be left uncontrolled. It can turn fatal. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you should make sure that you don’t ignore it. 

Are you worried about taking life-long medications for high blood pressure? Don’t worry. Here is some good news for you. You can manage it naturally and keep it under check. Read on to know a few effective ways to combat blood pressure.

Lose weight

Weight and blood pressure are directly proportional. As the weight increases, blood pressure too increases. A study shows that your blood pressure can drop by 1 mm Hg for every kilo of weight you lose. Moreover, you should give importance to reducing your waistline. Waistlines should be less than 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Exercise regularly

Your blood pressure depends on the blood pumped by your heart and the resistance of blood flow into the arteries. Exercising regularly makes your heart pump more blood and lowers the pressure on the arteries. Do you know just 30 minutes of walking can decrease your blood pressure? You don’t have to run marathons to reduce your BP. You just have to make a few lifestyle changes and you are assured of a decline in your BP.

  • Walk whenever possible instead of driving.

  • Avoid elevators; instead, use the stairs.

  • Do any activity that you love to do. It can be gardening or dancing or swimming or cycling or anything else that can burn calories.

Decrease sodium intake

Lowering salt intake lowers your blood pressure. Your salt intake should not be more than 5 grams a day. When you decrease salt intake the blood vessels can broaden, resulting in the free circulation of blood. This decreases the pressure on the arteries.

  • Avoid processed foods that contain lots of sodium. Read the labels on the containers to know the amount of added sodium.

  • You can add herbs and spices to add flavour and taste to your food. Home-cooked food is better than ready-to-eat foods processed and packed in tins.

Photo by Marta Branco from Pexels
Photo by Marta Branco from Pexels

Add potassium intake

When you take more potassium, more sodium is flushed out of your body through urine. It also eases the tension in your blood vessels. Add potassium-rich foods such as bananas, green leafy vegetables, beans, dried fruits, and beetroots, etc., to your diet.

Cut back on alcohol and caffeine

Alcohol consumption is linked to hypertension. The more alcohol consumed, the higher the blood pressure. But how does alcohol affect blood pressure?

  • Alcohol affects the nervous system, which plays a vital role in controlling blood pressure.

  • It increases cortisol levels that increase blood pressure.

  • It increases calcium levels that narrow down the arteries.

  • It increases weight and being overweight is one of the biggest causes of high blood pressure.

Stress triggers the production of cortisol that increases blood pressure. Stay calm, cool, and relaxed. Practice stress relaxation techniques like breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation. The above simple ways can help you to combat your blood pressure effectively. Try these to lead a healthy life.

Text: Raddhika Devi

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