Learn to lower your blood pressure

Posted in Wellness

When left untreated, high blood pressure may damage the kidneys, leading to a heart attack, stroke, or heart failure. High blood pressure is defined as the top number or systolic blood pressure averaging 140 mmHG or higher and/or the bottom number or diastolic blood pressure averaging 90 mmHG or higher. There is no cure for high blood pressure. However, there are a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your blood pressure or prevent or delay the development of high blood pressure. Improving your lifestyle also enhances the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.

Eat a Balanced, Low-Salt Diet

Your diet should focus on fruits, vegetables, other potassium-rich foods, and low-fat dairy products with limited salt. Reducing your salt intake lowers the risk of high blood pressure for people prone to develop the condition, helps control high blood pressure for people currently taking blood pressure medication, and may prevent heart problems for overweight individuals.
The simplest way to limit your salt intake is to buy fresh as opposed to packaged or processed foods. When you do buy packaged foods, look for products without added seasonings or sauces. Get in the habit of reading food labels so you know exactly what you're putting into your body. To flavor your food, opt for spices or herbs instead of salt. If you're having trouble making a drastic reduction in sodium, cut back slowly so your palate can adjust accordingly.

Drink Alcohol in Moderation

Regular alcohol intake may increase blood pressure significantly. If you do drink, limit yourself to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men (since alcohol affects women's health differently than men's). One drink equals a four-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce beer, 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor, or one ounce of hard liquor. If you're currently a heavy drinker, reduce your intake slowly over several weeks to lower your blood pressure slowly and avoid shocking your system.

Maintain a Regular Exercise Routine

Blood pressure is typically closely linked to weight. Overweight individuals are much more likely to have high blood pressure than individuals with a healthy weight. Exercising regularly in combination with eating better will help you lose weight and consequently lower your blood pressure. The best types of exercise to lower blood pressure include walking, jogging, cycling, dancing and swimming. Strength training may also be beneficial. Strive to engage in 30 minutes of exercise four or five days per week, maintaining a regular routine to achieve a consistent normal blood pressure range.

Keep Your Stress Level in Check

Chronic stress contributes heavily to high blood pressure for many individuals. You may also boost your blood pressure when you respond to stress by eating junk food, drinking alcohol in excess, or smoking. Consider your biggest stressors and then work to eliminate or reduce them. Know your stress triggers as well and try to avoid them whenever possible.

For most patients with high blood pressure, a health care provider will recommend prescription blood pressure medication in addition to lifestyle changes. Depending on your current blood pressure and other health conditions, you may need multiple blood pressure medications.

Holmes Place places a high priority on women's health. We work closely with our female clients to help them move better, eat better, and feel better. From creating a workout plan to offering tips to lower blood pressure naturally, we address every aspect of women's health to maximize your overall well-being. To get started, find a club in your area today.

Posted in Wellness