If you have hypertension, you would have to make significant lifestyle changes to lower your numbers. Lifestyle plays a vital role in lowering high blood pressure. If you control your blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle, you might avoid the need for medication.

Following are the main lifestyle modifications you can make to lower your blood pressure and keep it in a healthy range:

Lose Extra Pounds


Blood pressure is proportionate to your weight increase. Being overweight can cause disturbed breathing while you sleep, raising your blood pressure.

Losing weight is one of the most effective lifestyle changes for regulating blood pressure. Even a small amount of weight loss can help lower your blood pressure. As per the stats, you may reduce your blood pressure by about 1 mm Hg with each kilogram of weight you lose.

Besides this, you generally should also watch your waistline because carrying excess weight around your waist can increase the risk of high blood pressure.

In general, men with a waistline of greater than 40 inches and women with a waistline of greater than 35 inches are at a higher risk of hypertension.

Exercise Regularly


Regular physical activity, including 30 to 40 minutes of workout daily, can lower your blood pressure by about 5 to 8 mm Hg if your blood pressure remains high. It is essential to be consistent because your blood pressure can rise again once you stop exercising.

Exercise has reportedly helped people avoid developing hypertension. However, regular physical activity can bring your blood pressure down to a safer range if you already have hypertension.

Aerobic exercises, such as walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, or dancing, are beneficial for reducing high blood pressure. Strength and high-interval training can also help lower blood pressure. You should talk to your doctor about creating an exercise program that works best for you.

Eat a Healthy Diet


A diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products with low saturated fat and cholesterol can lower blood pressure by up to 11 mm Hg for people with hypertension. This diet is called the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.

Keeping a food diary can help you take control of your diet better. Maintaining a log of what you eat, even for just a week, can help you identify your actual eating habits. For better control over your diet, monitor your eating habits daily.

Reduce Sodium in your Diet


Reducing sodium in your diet can improve your heart health and lower blood pressure by about 5 to 6 mm Hg for those with hypertension. Sodium influences people differently. You should limit sodium to 2,300 mg a day or less. However, it is ideal for adults to take 1500 mg sodium a day.

The following tips can help you reduce your daily sodium intake:

  • Read food labels while doing grocery shopping
  • Eat fewer processed foods and avoid takeouts
  • Do not add extra salt to your meals
  • Ease into reducing your daily intake. Do not quit all of a sudden.

Quit Smoking


Cigarettes keep your blood pressure high for a long time. Quitting smoking helps your blood pressure return to normal. It can decrease your risk of heart disease and improve overall health. Moreover, those who quit smoking may live longer than people who never quit smoking.

Reduce the Intake of Caffeine


Caffeine’s role in increasing blood pressure is still debated. It can raise blood pressure to 10 mm Hg for those who rarely consume it. However, people who drink coffee or tea regularly may experience little or no effect.

Till now, the long-term effects of caffeine on blood pressure are not identified, but it may slightly increase blood pressure.

To determine if caffeine increases your blood pressure, check your pressure within 30 minutes of drinking tea or coffee. If your blood pressure increases by 5 to 10 mm Hg, you may be sensitive to caffeine and avoid overconsuming it.

Reduce Stress


Chronic stress may cause high blood pressure. Occasional stress may also contribute to hypertension if you respond to stress by eating unhealthy food, drinking alcohol, or smoking.

Take some time to determine the cause of your stress, such as work, family, finances, or illness. Once you identify what is causing your stress, you can control it effectively.

However, it is difficult to eliminate all of your stressors; you can follow a better and healthy coping mechanism to avoid them. You should:

  • Change your expectations towards people
  • Focus on those issues you can control and make strategies to solve them
  • Avoid your stress triggers
  • Make time to relax your mind and body and perform activities you enjoy
  • Practice gratitude

Get Support


Supportive family and friends can help improve your overall health. They can encourage you to take care of yourself, take you to the doctor’s office, or motivate you for an exercise program that will keep your blood pressure low.

You can join a support group if you need support outside your family and friends. It may get you in touch with those who can give you an emotional or morale boost as they have gone through or still are going through the same health problems.

These are some effective lifestyle changes that can help you reduce high blood pressure. Moreover, it is always better to get in touch with a professional as they can guide your better in your health journey. Book an appointment with the best Cardiologist in Lahore through Marham for more information. 

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By SARAH