Simple lifestyle changes can do a world of good for lowering high blood pressure.
Whether you’ve just been told that you have high blood pressure or have been living with high blood pressure for some time, it’s important that you do everything you can to keep your blood pressure within a normal and healthy range. Untreated or uncontrolled high blood pressure can increase your risk for stroke and heart attack. While your general practitioner may prescribe medication, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t simple lifestyle changes you can make that can significantly improve your blood pressure.
Cut out Refined Foods
You’ve probably been told to cut back on sodium by your doctor. Of course, our bodies always need a balance of sodium and potassium, as these are vital minerals. Therefore, it’s about removing refined salts found in processed foods and using a pinch of kosher or sea salt in moderation when cooking your own whole, natural and unprocessed meals. Pro tip: if you use a lot of incredible spices such as oregano, turmeric, or sumac, you won’t even need to add much salt to get flavor.
Yes, we would love for patients to get all the nutrients and vitamins they need from the foods they eat, but today there are so many variables that mean that we don’t always absorb all of these nutrients through diet alone. In this case, your general doctor may recommend supplementation to improve your blood pressure. Supplements that could improve your blood pressure include,
- Magnesium (typically magnesium citrate)
- Omega-3 fish oil
Talk with your doctor before adding supplements to your current diet.
Get Regular Exercise
Exercise is any physical activity that gets the blood pumping to the heart, which helps the heart pump blood more effortlessly. It’s recommended that everyone get anywhere from 30-to 45 minutes of aerobic exercise at least six times a week. Add strength training in there to help support healthy muscles.
Chronic stress is incredibly dangerous and can contribute to everything from high blood pressure to heart attack, so if you find yourself dealing with chronic stress, it’s important that you find outlets to help manage this serious problem, whether through exercise, meditation, deep relaxation, mindfulness breathing or guided imagery. Go to a class, hunt down some videos on YouTube or download a meditation app and use it daily.
When was the last time you had your blood pressure checked? When was the last time you saw a doctor for a general checkup? If it’s been more than a year, it’s time to schedule your annual checkup. When it comes to your blood pressure, it’s always important to know your numbers.