Did you know that your lifestyle can impact your blood pressure?
Yes! Leading a healthy lifestyle is key to keeping your blood pressure in control. Medications are a part and parcel of the treatment plan but studies have proven that modifying your lifestyle has a direct impact on the reduction of the blood pressure along with other treatments. Read on to understand the lifestyle modifications that will help you lower your blood pressure.
Understanding Blood Pressure and its Measurement
Blood pressure is the force exerted by the blood on your artery walls. It is determined by the amount of blood pumped by your heart and the resistance in your arteries. Your blood pressure reading consists of 2 numbers. The systolic blood pressure or the top number indicates the pressure in your blood vessels while your heart beats. The diastolic blood pressure or the bottom number indicates the pressure between the beats or when your heart is at rest.
An optimal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mmHg, where 120 is the systolic blood pressure and 80 is the diastolic blood pressure.
Monitoring your blood pressure regularly can help you detect any changes in the BP at an early stage. It can be done at home or at your doctor’s clinic.
Why is it Necessary to Control Your Blood Pressure?
When your blood pressure is constantly above the normal range, it is considered high blood pressure or hypertension. It is a silent condition that usually does not exhibit any symptoms until the blood pressure becomes very high. However, the condition can easily be detected through routine screenings.
It is important to detect and manage hypertension at an early stage. Uncontrolled hypertension can damage your blood vessels walls leading to complications such as heart failure, heart attack, stroke, kidney disorders, and problems with vision. Early detection and management help prevent these complications.
How to Reduce Blood Pressure with Lifestyle Changes?
Small steps can make a big impact. Adopting these lifestyle changes can help you in lowering your blood pressure:
Avoid a sedentary lifestyle and increase your activity. Try to include 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise in your daily routine. Regular physical activity can help in both the prevention and management of high blood pressure.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight increases your chances of developing high blood pressure. If you are overweight, even a small change in your weight can help reduce your blood pressure. With each kilogram of weight, you lose, you may reduce your blood pressure by 1 mm Hg.
Limit Salt Intake
Excess salt intake can elevate your blood pressure. Therefore, to lower your blood pressure it is necessary to limit your salt intake. Choose low sodium alternatives to the food that you normally buy. You can include more fruits and vegetables in your diet and avoid fried and processed food as they are generally high in sodium content. Following a low sodium or a low blood pressure diet can effectively control your blood pressure.
Have a Balanced Diet
Having a balanced diet plays an important role in your overall health. For managing high blood pressure, you can choose a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low in sugar, saturated fat, and refined carbohydrates. Keeping a food diary will help in monitoring your diet and managing your eating habits.
Consume More Potassium
Potassium helps regulate the levels of sodium in the body and thereby helps in keeping your blood pressure in control. Food that is high in potassium includes green leafy vegetables, potatoes, tomatoes, fruits such as oranges, avocados, and bananas, dairy products such as milk and yogurt, nuts, seeds, and fish such as tuna.
Drinking more than moderate amounts of alcohol regularly can lead to a considerable rise in your blood pressure. It is advisable to limit the consumption of alcohol per day.
Chronic stress can contribute to high blood pressure. Avoid the triggers and focus on activities that you enjoy doing. Try to manage stress with relaxing techniques such as yoga or meditation.
Smoking causes a temporary increase in your blood pressure which returns to normal within some time. Chronic smoking can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure by damaging the blood vessel walls. Quitting smoking will not only help control your blood pressure but is also beneficial for your overall health.
Monitor Your Blood Pressure Regularly
Regular monitoring will help in keeping a tab on your blood pressure. Regular consultations with your doctor are also important. You may also take instructions from your doctor for monitoring your blood pressure at home.
Take Your Medications Properly
If you are already under treatment for high blood pressure make sure that you take your medications regularly as prescribed by your doctor.
Don’t Have Time To Read?
- Blood pressure is the force exerted by the flowing blood on the walls of your arteries.
- A normal blood pressure level is less than or equal to 120/80 mm/Hg (systolic/diastolic).
- High blood pressure or hypertension is the blood pressure that is higher than normal.
- Multiple factors such as genetics, age, and lifestyle habits contribute to high blood pressure.
- Usually, there are no symptoms of high blood pressure. Some may experience symptoms such as headache, nosebleeds, shortness of breath, and vision problems.
- Early detection and treatment of high BP symptoms will help in keeping your blood pressure under control and preventing complications such as cardiovascular conditions.
- Adopting a healthy lifestyle is the best way to prevent high blood pressure.
- Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading cardiologists, order medicines, book lab tests, integrate BP monitors and other devices to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Also, check out our Hypertension Management Program which provides 360º care. Let’s treat low/high blood pressure problems together.
Adapting certain lifestyle changes that incorporate a healthy diet, regular exercise, and stress-reducing techniques can naturally lower your blood pressure over time.
Drinking water and staying well hydrated is beneficial in maintaining healthy blood pressure. Choose drinking water over sugary and aerated beverages.
Having your blood pressure constantly around 160/100 indicates stage 2 hypertension. It is considered severe hypertension and can lead to complications if left untreated. Therefore make sure that you consult your doctor immediately for further advice.
Anxiety does not cause long-term hypertension. However, it can lead to a temporary spike in your blood pressure.
For lowering your blood pressure immediately you can lie down and take deep breaths. It helps in slowing down your heart rate and lowering your blood pressure temporarily.
Getting less than 6 hours of sleep regularly can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure. Sleep disturbances are also linked to heart diseases.
Lying down can help bring down your blood pressure temporarily. Recent studies have shown that your blood is lower while lying down when compared to a sitting position.
Elevating your legs helps in lowering blood pressure by allowing the pooled blood in your legs to drain towards the heart..
Lemon water contains minerals such as calcium and potassium which can help in lowering your blood pressure.