If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, medication will normally be prescribed to help yo lower high blood pressure. In many cases, medication is only a temporary fix, and greater lifestyle adjustments will need to be made while figuring out how to lower your blood pressure permanently. There are several small adjustments that can be made in your normal daily routine that work wonders in lowering your normal blood pressure levels. Many of these lifestyle adjustments work best in a combination with several other methods and medication. The primary goal of changing your lifestyle is to get off of medication and keeping a normal blood pressure rating. Medications come with a number of side effects and potential hazards, so doctors desire patients to only be on them for a certain period of time.
Reduce Tobacco and Alcohol Use
Smoking tobacco raises blood pressure levels in all people, and quiting smoking can greatly lower a person’s blood pressure. When we smoke, the nicotine and other chemicals in the cigarette work to constrict the blood vessels and increase the heart rate. Nicotine is a stimulant, and is the main cause for an increased heart beat. The nicotine and other chemical in a cigarette typically only have this effect for around an hour, but many chronic smokers keep a constant stream in their system, permanently elevating their blood pressure levels. If a person sleeps for 6 hours in a day, that leaves 18 hours awake. If they smoke a pack of cigarettes a day, then they are smoking a cigarette every 54 minutes, on average. If nicotine and other cigarette chemicals wear off after an hour, then a pack a day smoker is always under the blood pressure raising effects of cigarettes.
Alcohol is a completely different story. In some people, it can dramatically increase a person’s blood pressure, but it seem to have absolutely no effect on others. Many heavy drinkers can be develop high blood pressure from alcohol, but the majority of people are safe. Still, it is best to drink only in moderation, which is one drink a day for women of any age and men over the age of 65 and two drinks a day for men under the age of 65. One drink is technically defined as 1.5 ounces of liquor, 5 ounces of wine, or 12 ounces of beer.
While this may seem like a general piece of advice, living a healthy live consisting of a balanced diet, exercise and maintaining a constant, healthy weight level is the best way to keep your blood pressure at a normal level after you’ve learned how to lower blood pressure. Essentially, living a healthy life will consist of three things.
Exercise– The heart and the circulatory system are comprised of muscles, and exercise helps to keep them in shape and full functioning. The healthier your body, the lower your blood pressure will be. Since the circulatory system is controlled by a series of nerves, having more muscular control will help to prevent your blood pressure from rising. Exercise is also a fantastic way to reduce stress, which will be covered later.
Losing Extra Weight– Being overweight puts more strain on the heart since it takes much more to pump the blood throughout the body. The extra weight can be shed in order to help reduce the stress on the heart while also reducing the blood pressure level of the person.
Eating a Healthy Diet– By simply eating a healthy diet, you can easily reduce your blood pressure by up to 20 points. Switching from a high fat diet to a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and low-fat dairy greatly increases how healthy your lifestyle is, and in turn can help to lower your blood pressure.
By doing these things, you can not only lower your current blood pressure levels, but help to keep them in the safer and normal range. Learning how to lower blood pressure through lifestyle adjustments can be difficult, but it is still by far the best way to keep your blood pressure down.
Along with eating a healthy diet comes reducing your sodium levels. Sodium can be hit and miss with people. In certain people, it can raise your sodium levels to higher levels, while in others, it will have no effect at all. Having high levels of sodium in your blood will cause your blood vessels to contract, force the heart to pump blood harder.
To reduce sodium levels, you should:
Avoid adding salt to normal foods.
Check the sodium levels of pre-packaged foods you eat.
Attempt to eat fresh foods of packaged food.
All food has sodium in it, including items like bread, cheese, and meat.
Keep your sodium intake at 2,400 mg or less a day, especially if you have already been diagnosed with high blood pressure.
Avoid all high sodium foods.
Reducing your sodium level will greatly reduce your blood pressure levels.
When a person is put under a large amount of stress, your blood pressure naturally raises. You heart starts to beat faster and harder, your muscles are more contracted, which in turn restricts the normal flow of blood throughout the body. In order to help combat stress, a person can engaged in exercise, meditation, and other stress management techniques typically work well. If you are not sure why you are under a large amount of stress, determine the cause and deal with it appropriately.
Drinking beverages like coffee, tea, or energy drinks can greatly increase your blood pressure, especially if it is done in a habitual manner. Caffeine increases the heart rate and constricts the vein, causing a drastic increase in blood pressure while it is in the blood stream. While it does wear off after a prolonged period of time, many people who frequently ingest caffeine do so on a regular enough basis that they keep a constant level in their body. To help lower high blood pressure, simply reduce your caffeine intake.