High blood pressure can lead to serious health complications down the road, so it is important to nip it in the bud quickly. The best way to bring your blood pressure back down to a safe level is to make some basic lifestyle changes. Many people with high blood pressure are able to avoid taking medications simply by living a healthier lifestyle. Here are a few ways that you can regulate your blood pressure effectively.
Drop Excess Pounds
It is normal for blood pressure to rise as weight increases. Even losing just 10 pounds can make a significant difference, and the more weight you lose, the better off you will be. If you do take medications for your blood pressure, losing weight makes them more effective. Speak to your physician about what a reasonable target weight is, and then take steps to achieve it. Try to focus on trimming your waistline down especially, as carrying excessive weight in the waist area increases the risk of high blood pressure.
In addition to helping you to lose weight, eating well provides you with crucial nutrients and vitamins that help to keep your blood pressure at an ideal level. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is a very popular choice for lowering blood pressure. Eat plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products and meats. Try to avoid cholesterol, saturated fats, and added sugars, and eat plenty of foods that are rich in potassium and fiber.
Modify Your Eating Habits
It’s not just what you eat – it’s how you eat. Try to eat three balanced meals each day, ideally at the same time. Avoid snacking unless necessary, and try not to eat when you are feeling bored. Write down a grocery list before you go shopping, and avoid buying junk food. Many people find that keeping track of everything consumed in a food journal helps with staying accountable and seeing which food items need to go. If you’re not sure how to get started, talk to a nutritionist or a dietitian.
Exercising is essential for losing weight, but there are countless other benefits as well. Exercising on a regular basis effectively lowers your blood pressure, making it one of the most important steps. Ideally, you should be doing 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise each day. Some excellent options include swimming, biking, and running. Consider taking up a new hobby, joining a sports league, or just finding some way to be active that you can really enjoy. You can also choose to jog or bike instead of driving when possible. Try to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine, and eventually it will feel natural.
Monitor Your Improvements
While making lifestyle changes may be daunting at first, it does get easier. Embrace your new lifestyle, and enjoy how you feel. Tracking your blood pressure is a great way to see improvements, which can be extremely encouraging and motivating. Blood pressure monitors like the ones at Baron Medical allow you to watch changes in your blood pressure in real time, allowing you to make additional lifestyle changes as needed. Stay focused on the long-term benefits, and don’t forget to stop and enjoy the mental and physical wellness these changes bring.