When your doctor discovers that you have hypertension (high blood pressure) you are likely to be started on a chronic medicine treatment. But there are many things you can do to decrease your blood pressure without resorting to prescription drugs. We look at some ways in which you can lower your blood pressure and maintain a healthy reading.
Exercise can reduce your blood pressure by approximately 5 to 8 mm Hg. This is not a huge improvement on its own, but in conjunction with other measures, can see you achieve a good number. You need to be moderately physically active for a minimum of half an hour every day.
The best exercises for reducing blood pressure are swimming, cycling, dancing, walking, and running. High-intensity interval training is another option. It requires short sessions of intense exercise alternated with milder activity. In addition to these forms of exercise, you need to perform strength training twice a week.
Carrying too much weight frequently results in high blood pressure. The extra weight can affect your breathing, causing sleep apnoea that has the effect of also increasing blood pressure. But the good news is that you can decrease it by around one mm Hg for every kilogram lost.
The waistline can also affect blood pressure. Men need to be concerned with a girth exceeding 102 centimetres. For women, the measurement is over 89 centimetres. These figures may differ among ethnic groups, so consult your doctor to check for you.
Home Blood Pressure Monitoring
As you initiate these lifestyle changes, you will want to monitor your blood pressure on a regular basis. This will most likely be daily. You can get a blood pressure monitor for home use from medical-supermarket.com.
You can realise a loss of as much as 11 mm Hg in your blood pressure by eating a healthy diet. This achievement, along with your other lifestyle changes may allow you to continue without having to take daily chronic medication. Some good diets to follow are the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets. You should, however, make sure you get your nutrition from fruits and vegetables, whole grain foods, and low-fat dairy products.
Reduce Salt Intake
If you want to drop another five to six mm Hg from your blood pressure reading, eliminate or reduce your salt intake. This will also improve the condition of your heart and may prevent cardiovascular events. The range of acceptable sodium varies from person to person. The best is a maximum of 1,500 mg a day although some people can manage up to 2,300 mg per day.
You can decrease your sodium intake by cutting down on processed foods, which generally have a high amount. Be sure to read food labels and look for options that have a reduced sodium content. If you prepare your own meals, it is easier to control the amount of sodium you ingest. Spices (without added sodium) and herbs can be sued to flavour your meals.
Take charge of your health now and avoid having to go on chronic medication for hypertension.