Hypertension is the body’s reaction on tension in the blood vessels. The more tense blood vessels are, the higher blood pressure is and the harder your heart has to work. If not well-controlled it increases the risk of serious health complications, including cardiovascular disease and stroke. Fortunately, there exist a number of ways to lower blood pressure, including drug treatment and natural treatment. The following are simple ways to control and prevent hypertension.
Lose weight. The risk of hypertension rises together with the gain in weight. Losing weight can help lower blood pressure and make antihypertensive drugs work more effectively.
Go for power walks. Walking at brisk pace makes the heart use oxygen more efficiently, so that it doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood. Such walks can lower blood pressure by 8 mmHg.
Eat healthy. A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products with exclusion of cholesterol and saturated fats can lower blood pressure by 14 mmHg. Eating healthy food you can also prevent other problems and improve your appearance.
Cut down on salt. Even a small reduction of salt in the diet can lower blood pressure by 2-8 mmHg. Keep track of how much salt you consume daily and try to limit its consumption to 2, 3 mg a day.
Increase potassium consumption. Consuming fruits and vegetables rich in potassium you can help your body keep blood pressure down. Daily potassium level is 2,000 – 4,000 mg. Potassium-rich products include tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, bananas, peas, beans, melon, dried fruits, such as raisins and dried plums.
Cut back on caffeine and spirits. Caffeine is a driver for blood pressure and regular alcohol consumption eventually leads to hypertension, resulting in a rise in blood pressure by several points. Moreover, these products can lower the effectiveness of antihypertensive drugs. Try to limit your intake of coffee, strong tea, soda drinks and spirits. This way you can keep your blood pressure down.
Breathe deeply. Slow breathing and meditative practices as yoga, tai chi and qigong help reduce a certain kidney enzyme that raises blood pressure. If you don’t have time to take up yoga or mediation, do at least deep-breathing exercises for 5 minutes in the morning and in the evening.
And of course prevention is better than cure. If you manage to control your blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle, you can avoid or delay the need for medicinal treatment.