Controlling Blood Pressure the Natural Way
High blood pressure is a silent killer. It has no tell-tale symptoms but contributes to more than 15 percent of deaths in the U.S. alone. It leads to a number of potent killers, including heart attack and stroke, as well as other conditions including aneurysms, kidney failure, and cognitive decline.
According to the American Heart Association, a full 28 percent of Americans suffer from high blood pressure and don’t know it. But enough of the bad news. There is more than enough medical information available to you about the hazards of high blood pressure.
If you have been diagnosed or just think you may have high blood pressure, there are lifestyle choices you can employ to help lower your blood pressure without the use of medications. Here are seven natural strategies to help lower your blood pressure.
Get moving. It’s been suggested that 30 minutes a day at least four days a week will lower your blood pressure. A healthy heart uses oxygen more efficiently, meaning it doesn’t have to work so hard to keep your blood flowing. Most important, find some form of exercise that you enjoy and will stick with. Start slow and work your way up gradually. Exercise gives back two-fold for it also reduces stress, another cause of high blood pressure.
Eat a well balance diet. That means toss out the chips, or at least cut them back to a minimum. Focus on getting more whole grains, low fat dairy products, fruits, and veggies in your system. Look for potassium rich fruits and veggies such as tomatoes, OJ, and bananas. Why ? Potassium can reduce the effect of sodium on blood pressure.
Americans love salt. In fact it is in nearly everything we eat. For that reason just ignoring the salt shaker won’t limit your salt intake enough. Beware of the sodium in processed foods, for this is where the majority of your salt intake comes from. Even a small reduction is salt can have a big impact on your blood pressure.
Limit your alcohol
This doesn’t mean cut out your alcoholic intake altogether, just limit it. Imbibe in no more than one drink per day for a woman and two for a man. Any more will increase your risk of high blood pressure.
The nicotine in tobacco products can raise your blood pressure for up to an hour after you light up. You already know all the other dangers associated with cigarette smoking. It’s time to give it up. Also avoid second hand smoke as it can increase your blood pressure as well.
Lower your stress
What stresses you out? Identify those causes of stress in your life and look for ways to reduce them. Other means to lower your stress include listening to soothing music, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or getting a massage.
Leave work and go home
Working more than a 40 hour workweek can raise the risk of hypertension by a whopping 15 percent according to a study by the University of California, Irvine. That may be difficult to do for some, but the benefits are numerous. Working long hours makes it difficult to eat healthy and make time for exercise.
Putting these seven strategies to work in your life can significantly improve your health and help keep your blood pressure in check. Clinical research has shown that by incorporating a few healthy lifestyle changes, you can lower your blood pressure. And who knows, you might even feel better.
Now that he’s retired from the field of medical research, Joe Baxter has picked up freelance writing. He particularly enjoys writing about medical journals. Apart from writing, he spends the rest of his free time traveling abroad and working in his wood shop.