Ten Ways To Control Your High Blood Pressure Without Medication
If you are currently taking medications and want to get off of them, or if you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure and are worried about getting on the medications, there are some lifestyle changes that may play an important role in bringing down your blood pressure. These ten lifestyle changes may enable you to avoid, delay or reduce your need for blood pressure medication.
1. Lose Weight
According to Mayo Clinic, in general:
- Men are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 40 inches (102 centimeters).
- Women are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 35 inches (89 centimeters).
These numbers vary among ethnic groups. Ask your doctor about a healthy waist measurement for you.
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2. Exercise regularly
If you have prehypertension (120-139 over 80-89), it is possible that this exercise will stop you from getting any worse. If you are already hypertensive (140-149 over 90-99 or more), regular exercise can help to bring your numbers down to a safer level.
3. Eat a healthy diet
Changing your eating habits is not easy, but these tips may help.
- Keep a food log – write down what you eat, how much, when and why. You may find that you are eating because you are stressed, or bored or actually thirsty.
- Eat foods high in Potassium – It is best to get potassium from a food source rather than supplements. Potassium can help to reduce the effects of sodium on your blood pressure. To find out the best foods for potassium, click here
- Shop Smart and healthy – Read food labels when shopping and most restaurants now have nutrition facts when you eat out. Look up the menu of where you are going to eat on your phone or computer before you leave the house.
4. Reduce sodium in your diet
Despite all of the warnings about salt intake, most Americans are still consuming approximately 3,400 mg of sodium per day. this is well above the American Heart Associations guideline of 1,500 mg per day.
Evidence has shown that reducing sodium intake reduces blood pressure and even a small reductions can reduce your blood pressure from 2 mmHg to 8 mmHg.
People that are most effected by sodium intake are:
- Anyone age 51 or older
- Anyone diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease
To decrease sodium in your diet, consider these tips:
- Read food labels – Choose low-sodium alternatives whenever possible.
- Eat less processed foods – Processed foods are very high in sodium. Cook the foods yourself and monitor how much salt you are adding. Only a small amount of sodium occurs naturally in most foods.
- Don’t add salt – 1 level teaspoon of salt has 2,300 mg of sodium. Use herbs or spices to add flavor to your food. Instead of salt, try coriander, black pepper, nutmeg, parsley, cumin, cilantro, ginger, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, tarragon, garlic or onion powder, bay leaf, oregano, dry mustard, or dill
- Ease into it. Slowly adjust how much sodium you are taking in at one time. Your palate will adjust easier this way, and you are more likely to stick with it.
5. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink
6. Quit smoking
7. Cut back on caffeine
Within 30 minutes of drinking caffeine, check your blood pressure to see if caffeine effects you. If your blood pressure increases by 5 to 10 mm Hg, you may be sensitive to the blood pressure raising effects of caffeine. Talk to your doctor about the effects of caffeine on your blood pressure.
8. Reduce your stress
Most of the time, you will find that you can not fully eliminate what causes your stress, but you can:
- Change your expectations – If someone or something is bothering you, this can be stressful, but often times we find that what is bothering us is actually that we expect people to react one way and they don’t. If you can decide before a situation occurs that, if something is not done the way you expect that everything will be ok anyway, you may find that these types of situations don’t bother you as much as they used to.
- Open lines of communication – You could talk to your boss about difficulties at work or family members about situations at home.
- Avoid Stress Triggers – If a specific person bothers you, spend less time with them. Or if rush hour gets under your skin, leave a little earlier or later.
- Take time to relax and to do activities you enjoy – Take 15 to 20 minutes a day, sit quietly and breathe deeply. Find something that you enjoy doing and let go of everything else. Don’t be thinking about work while you are doing your fun activity.
- Read the Bible – Not everyone believes in God, but I find that spending time with God and giving up my problems to Him, takes away my stress.
- If none of these things work for you, there is a product called natural stress relief that works extremely well. It does not make you tired or drowsy, but it takes the edge off. We recommend it for everyone that has white coat syndrome, to take it before going to the doctor.
9. Monitor your blood pressure at home and see your doctor regularly
You can get a blood pressure monitor online or at your local drug store.
10. Nutritional Supplementation
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