When your body functions optimally, you can perform tasks more efficiently and easily. A problem like high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is quite common in the US. About one-third of the US population suffers from this ailment, and only a few of them are able to manage it. This leads us to a question, is high blood pressure only treatable with medicines?
Well, first of all, you should know that there is no cure for a disease like high blood pressure. Secondly, anyone can have this condition regardless of age and gender. Now, returning to the question, blood pressure is manageable even without medications. And the best way one can achieve it is by making a few lifestyle changes.
Changing your habits and adding some factors to them can help you significantly manage your blood pressure. So, what are these lifestyle changes to control blood pressure? Well, before we discuss them, let's try to understand what exactly hypertension is and how you will know if you have this condition.
Understanding Blood Pressure
First thing first, what is blood pressure? In simple terms, blood pressure is the blood force that pushes against your artery walls. Whenever someone's heart beats, their heart pushes blood into the arteries. A person experiences the highest blood pressure when their heart beats, leading to blood pumping. This is also known as your systolic blood pressure. On the other hand, when someone's heart is resting between beats, their blood pressure decreases. And this process is referred to as the diastolic blood pressure.
Both systolic and diastolic are numbers that help take your blood pressure readings. Now, whenever you ask your healthcare provider to take your blood pressure reading, they will show two numbers in the format of x/y. Here, "x" signifies the systolic number, which usually comes before and above the "y," which is the diastolic number. So, for example, if your blood readings are 120/80, it means your systolic number is 120, and 80 is your diastolic number.
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How Will You Know If You Have High Blood Pressure?
So now you are a bit familiar with what blood pressure is and how its readings are taken. However, that part is for your basic understanding; the critical part is what comes next. A person can have high blood pressure without knowing it, as this condition generally carries no symptoms.
So, as an individual, it is vital for you to know how you can confirm whether you have this condition. And what's the best way to confirm it? You can only know if you are suffering from hypertension by getting regular blood pressure check-ups from your doctor. Your healthcare provider may use a stethoscope and blood pressure cuff, or electronic sensor to confirm your blood pressure readings. Furthermore, the doctor will take multiple readings at different appointments to make a correct diagnosis.
Here is a table that explains blood pressure readings based on a person's health conditions:
Category Of Blood Pressure
Systolic Blood Pressure
Diastolic Blood Pressure
High Blood Pressure (without heart risk factors)
High Blood Pressure (heart risk factors included)
Extremely high blood pressure (must seek instant medical care)
If we talk about children and teens, their blood pressure readings are taken based on what is normal for other kids of the same gender, age, and height.
Also, people suffering from chronic kidney disease or diabetes should maintain their blood pressure readings below 130/80.
What Are The Risk Factors For Hypertension?
As already mentioned, high blood pressure is a condition that can happen to anyone. However, even if that is true, there are a few factors that can increase your risk of developing this health issue:
- Age: People usually suffer from high blood pressure as they age.
- Weight: Overweight or obese people are more prone to hypertension.
- Lifestyle: Your habits also play a role in increasing your risk of this health complication, such as consuming too much salt (sodium), not having enough potassium, smoking or drinking too much alcohol, or not doing regular exercise.
- Ethnicity/Race: Hypertension is found more in adult African Americans.
- Sex: Men tend to develop higher blood pressure than women before age 55. Meanwhile, after the age of 55, women are more prone than men to have hypertension.
A Few Lifestyle Changes to Manage High Blood Pressure
Having or not treating high blood pressure for a long time can lead to multiple dangerous diseases such as heart attack, stroke, and other heart-related conditions. Also, if you have this condition, you want to find some solutions which don't involve using too much medicine.
Therefore, if you want to control your high blood pressure, you have to make some healthy lifestyle changes. This can include eating healthy, exercising, taking sufficient hours of sleep, and limiting the consumption of various food items and unhealthy beverages.
So, here are some lifestyle changes you need to make in order to lower your blood pressure without taking medicinal help:
1. Work toward Losing the Extra Weight and Maintaining an Ideal Waistline
As mentioned, being overweight or obese is one of the risk factors for high blood pressure. And as your weight increases, your blood pressure also increases with it. Furthermore, having these extra pounds can also cause breathing problems like sleep apnea, leading to high blood pressure.
Losing weight and achieving your ideal weight according to age, height, and health problems is a highly effective lifestyle change that helps lower blood pressure. Even a small weight change can help in lowering blood pressure. Talk to Apprize Medical healthcare providers if you are looking for effective weight management.
Now, other than managing your weight, it is also essential to maintain your waistline size. One is more likely to develop high blood pressure if they have a big waistline carrying too much weight. Men over 40 inches of the waistline are at a higher risk of developing this condition. Meanwhile, women over 35 inches of the waistline are at higher risk of hypertension.
Ask your healthcare providers about your ideal weight and waistline, depending on your health conditions.
2. Eat a Healthy, Nutritious, and Well-Balanced Diet
A healthy diet is a must regardless of your health condition. Your diet should contain fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and dairy products. It should include foods with low cholesterol and saturated fat, as they can help lower high blood pressure.
Furthermore, if your diet has potassium, it can help lower the effects of sodium on your blood pressure. And if you want a diet rich in potassium, you should add vegetables and fruits to your diet and avoid taking supplements. Having potassium and other nutrient-rich diets can help you significantly lower blood pressure. Also, ask your healthcare provider about the ideal amount of potassium in your diet.
Apprize Medical provides a personalized nutrition service where the professional helps determine the best diet for you according to your body's needs and health conditions. This way, you'll learn things you need to add to your diet to manage your blood pressure.
3. Quit Smoking and Limit Alcohol Consumption
Smoking is one of the causes that lead to increased blood pressure. Hence, one must stop smoking to achieve lower blood pressure. Furthermore, avoiding this will make you less prone to heart disease, enhancing your overall wellness and lifestyle.
Now, other than smoking, you should also limit your alcohol consumption to manage your blood pressure. For men, it is recommended only to have two drinks a day. In contrast, women should stick to one drink a day only. By following this limit, you can effectively lower your high blood pressure. Moreover, you should not drink too much alcohol as it increases blood pressure. In fact, consuming too much of it can lower the efficiency of blood pressure medications.
4. Exercise Everyday
Studies show that regular exercise can help reduce high blood pressure by five to eight mm Hg. The essential part is following a regular exercise schedule to maintain healthy blood pressure without skipping a day. While it can depend on how much you can do yourself, keep a general aim for exercising for at least 30 minutes daily. Also, please don't overdo it and moderate your physical activities.
While increased blood pressure is normal, exercise helps prevent this from turning into hypertension. So, it is vital for people suffering from high blood pressure to perform daily activities to lower and maintain optimal blood pressure levels.
One can consider doing a few exercises, including walking, cycling, dancing, jogging, and swimming. Other than that, you can try high-intensity interval training. In this, you perform activities in short bursts of intense training and extended periods of lighter training, alternating between the both.
Furthermore, strength training is another way by which you can experience lower blood pressure. So, if possible, try to perform at least twice a week. Also, talk to your healthcare provider to learn more about exercise programs. Apprize Medical offers exercise programs to help you lose weight and keep your body active. And by enrolling in these programs, you can lower your high blood pressure without depending on medicines.
5. Avoid Salty Diets
Another thing you can do to manage your blood pressure is to lower sodium consumption in your diet. Studies suggest that even a small salt reduction can help reduce your high blood pressure by five to six mm Hg.
How well your body will react by lowering sodium consumption will depend on person to person. Typically, you should limit the intake amount to around 2300 milligrams per day. But, the ideal sodium intake for most adults is 1500 mg.
Here are some tips to limit your salt consumption:
- Always read your food labels: Even if you have food preferences, make sure you eat low-salt versions of those foods.
- Limit eating processed foods: If you try eating natural foods, you'll realize these foods have a small amount of sodium.
- Avoid adding salt: Try replacing sodium with natural spices and herbs in your diet.
- Cook: You should cook your own food, as it allows you to control the salt amount in the food.
6. Try Managing Your Stress
Chronic or long-term emotional stress may lead to high blood pressure. There is currently considerable research going around learning about the effects of techniques that help with lowering stress. And the study also focuses on how it can help reduce blood pressure.
Now, there are many causes of stress, which may include work, illness, finances, and family. So, it becomes essential that you look out for ways to help manage stress. Here are a few practices you can try:
- Only do things which you can: One of the significant causes of day-to-day stress is when we overdo things. Hence, only do stuff which you can and prioritize your daily tasks over unnecessary stress.
- Find time to relax: Practicing yoga or sitting in a relaxed position without thinking or doing anything can help you manage stress. Furthermore, you should follow your hobbies, take short walks, perform cooking, or do things you enjoy.
- Try solving issues instead of leaving them as they are: It is always good to talk to your senior or supervisor if you struggle at work. Also, if there is a conflict with your spouse or kids, looking for ways to resolve it is crucial.
- Practice gratitude: Showing gratitude for others is a great way to lower stress.
- Avoid places and people that act as stress triggers: Do you find it hard traveling during rush hours? If possible, try changing your travel time and see if you can prefer to take public transport. In addition, avoid those people that cause you to stress or create stressful situations.
7. Take a Good Amount of Sleep
Not having enough sleep can also contribute to high blood pressure. A person who takes less than six hours of sleep continuously for a few weeks can suffer from hypertension. Also, some health conditions, such as sleep apnea, insomnia, and restless leg syndrome, can disrupt sleep cycles.
If you face problems, mention them to your healthcare provider, especially if you cannot get proper sleep. Your doctor will be able to find the root cause of it and will provide solutions to improve your sleep. But, if you don't suffer from restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea, you can consider following these tips to attain restful sleep:
- Follow a regular sleeping schedule: To get sufficient sleep, you must follow a regular schedule without making too many exceptions. Furthermore, ensure you follow this even on weekends to get your body clock in order.
- Create a relaxing space: Where you sleep at night also matters when you want to achieve a good night's sleep. For example, your sleeping space should be quiet, dark, and cool, so you can sleep successfully without waking up in the middle of the night. Furthermore, you should perform some relaxing exercises one hour before bedtime or take a warm bath. In addition, try not to use your phone or watch TV before bed.
- Eat healthy and not too much: Have a healthy meal at least three hours before going to bed. It is essential that you avoid having large meals. Furthermore, limit the consumption of alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine before going to bed.
- Manage nap time: As having a nap during the day helps many increase their productivity, it is suggested that you limit your naps to 30 minutes.
8. Go for Regular Checkups and Monitor Your Blood Pressure
It is crucial to check your blood pressure regularly to know when you need your healthcare provider's assistance. However, the good thing is that you can keep tabs on your blood pressure readings at home. Checking your blood pressure timely and not finding any abnormalities suggest that your lifestyle change and medication are working fine.
You can purchase a home blood pressure monitor from your local medical shop, as it is widely available and requires no prescription. However, before getting one and checking your blood pressure, ensure to have a conversation with your doctor.
Other than that, if possible, visit your doctor occasionally, as they are a significant part of your blood pressure control journey. If you have obtained optimal blood pressure, remember to ask your provider how often you need to monitor it. Depending on your current health status and blood pressure readings, your doctor may ask you to check it once or every other day.
9. Don't Hesitate To Join Support Groups or Asking Help from Your Family Members
While you can make all the essential lifestyle changes and take medicines to control your blood pressure, having support from your family and friends matters a lot to maintain good health. This support matters because your loved ones can encourage you to visit your healthcare provider and take proper care. Furthermore, they will help you join exercise programs so you can experience better results.
In addition, if friends and family support isn't working for you, you can join support groups. These groups are a great form of getting proper guidance for your condition and can help you both emotionally and morally. Furthermore, they may provide practical tips to help you optimally cope with your current state.
One can consider making some lifestyle changes to control blood pressure. Proper diet, sufficient sleep, medical help, and regular exercise effectively manage your high blood pressure. Feel free to talk to your healthcare provider if you face difficulties due to your condition. Your doctor can guide you on many things to help you obtain optimal blood pressure.
Are you looking for natural ways to control your blood pressure without depending on medications? Well, Apprize Medical is the place you need, as we have helped many of our patients achieve their correct blood pressure.
Our care includes offering personalized nutrition, weight management, and professional support, so you can heal naturally without depending too much on medicines. Furthermore, we provide proactive solutions, so you get your high blood pressure under control and can easily do activities you enjoy without any stress. Have you got any questions? Call us at +1-305-851-2132 to get answers and book an appointment with our doctors.