Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common condition among a huge majority of people across the world. High blood pressure is also the leading cause of cardiovascular diseases and strokes among people.
Lifestyle and daily habits play an important role in treating high blood pressure. By making some lifestyle changes, you can lower your blood pressure without any medicine. Here are 7 successful lifestyle changes to lower and maintain your blood pressure without any medications and reduce the risk of heart diseases and strokes.
How To Lower Blood Pressure Without Medication?
It’s normal for a person’s blood pressure to fluctuate throughout the day. Factors such as happiness, excitement, being active, sleeping or waking can cause a change in blood pressure levels. After such activities, the blood pressure is likely to return to its normal range.
Normal blood pressure is defined as the systolic pressure (the measurement of blood pressure from the heartbeats) under 120 mmHg and diastolic pressure ( when the heart is at rest between beats) under 80mmHg. There is no cure for high blood pressure, but you can follow the below-given steps to manage your blood pressure even without medication.
Exercising regularly is great for overall well-being and it can also help with lowering and maintaining blood pressure. Regular exercise keeps the heart healthy and strong and is a natural stress reliever (stress being a common cause of high blood pressure).
Change your diet
A diet high in fatty, sodium-rich foods are harmful to your blood pressure. Maintain a regular intake of a healthy diet including fruits and vegetables, high fiber, whole grains, and lean meats.
Maintain your body weight
Keeping an eye on your weight and maintaining a healthy weight for the body reduces the amount of strain on the heart, and helps regulate blood pressure.
Limit your sodium intake
Sodium is naturally present in many foods. But, most processed foods have “added sodium”. Prefer buying food items having low or no sodium to maintain the overall sodium intake and help lower high blood pressure.
Stress is a major element that can lead to high blood pressure. Meditation, spending time on an enjoyable hobby, exercising, or anything else that helps you relax can be helpful in lowering stress and thus blood pressure.
Limit alcohol intake
Excessive alcohol consumption can raise your blood pressure. That is the reason most alcoholics have irregular blood pressure or other cardiovascular problems. So, limit your alcohol consumption to maintain normal blood pressure.
Smoking is bad for an individual’s overall health. A single cigarette can raise the smoker’s blood pressure for several minutes (duration may vary from person to person). So, if you want to maintain your blood pressure, quitting smoking should be the first step. It also offers additional health benefits such as healthier lungs, lower chance of developing heart diseases and strokes. (Also Read: What does smoking do to a Woman’s Health? )
Who is at High Risk for High Blood Pressure?
- Aged people (especially over 65 years)
- People with a family history of High Blood Pressure
- Individuals with a high sodium diet
- People who are obese or have an inactive lifestyle
- Individuals who regularly consume alcohol
Risks Factors of High Blood Pressure
With time, high blood pressure can bring an array of health complications. High blood pressure does not have symptoms, so it is important to regularly visit your doctor. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to-
- Kidney damage
- Damage to your heart and arteries
- Memory loss
- Angina (chest pain)
- Peripheral Artery Disease
- Vision loss
When to Seek Emergency Care
High blood pressure causes damage to the organs and affects the body’s overall health. However, it’s possible for blood pressure to rise suddenly and cause a “hypertensive crisis”. Hypertensive crises can be either hypertensive emergency (threat to life, requires immediate medical assistance) or hypertensive urgency (no immediate danger to life).
If left untreated, a hypertensive emergency can have severe consequences including:
- Heart attack
- Aortic dissection
- Pulmonary edema
Get medical attention immediately if your blood pressure readings exceed 180/120. Also, keep a regular check on your blood pressure and consult a doctor in case you have a history of high blood pressure.