Have you been told you need to reduce your blood pressure but don’t want to resort to medications? Consider trying out some of these natural ways to get your body to a healthier place.
We all know that losing weight can help with a variety of ailments, and this is particularly true of high blood pressure. The Mayo Clinic reports that losing just 10 pounds by healthy means can help reduce your blood pressure. Talk to your doctor to determine the healthiest methods for you to shed some pounds.
The Mayo Clinic also reports that 30–60 minutes of exercise most days of the week can lower your blood pressure by 4–9 millimetres of mercury. And even just 10 minutes of walking and some light strength training can also help. It is advised that you talk to your doctor first to find out if you need to abide by any restrictions and to put together an exercise plan that suits your needs. Whenever possible, aim to keep your workouts consistent; don’t pack heavy workouts into a couple of days while doing little on the others, as this might cause unnecessary strain on your heart.
Reduce your sodium intake
Although we require salt in our diets, many of the foods served and cooked these days have unnecessarily high amounts of sodium in them. According to WebMD, the American Heart Association recommends consuming under 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day. To ensure you consume less salt, read the labels of the products you buy to see how much sodium they contain. Many canned and boxed items contain high levels of sodium, so avoid making any purchases without checking first. Restaurants also tend to cook with a lot of salt, so ask about the sodium content of a meal before ordering it. Another effective way to reduce your intake is by removing the salt shaker from your table. Foods with less salt may taste bland at first, but your taste buds will quickly adjust.
Drink less alcohol
Consuming alcoholic beverages too often can be damaging to your blood pressure levels. The Mayo Clinic advises that women consume no more than one drink per day. Binge drinking — consuming four or more drinks in a row — can cause a steep and sudden increase in blood pressure, which can lead to numerous problems. Long story short: Keep alcoholic beverages to a minimum.
Choose foods wisely
Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains while reducing consumption of saturated fats and cholesterol can greatly help reduce your blood pressure. In addition, select lean meats and dairy products that are low in fat. The Mayo Clinic also advises increasing your potassium intake and reducing your intake of caffeine. Changing what you eat can seem overwhelming at first, but by making small changes every day, you can work your way toward a healthier diet and lowering your blood pressure naturally.