A diagnosis of high blood pressure is scary and concerning for a couple of reasons. First, you know that your elevated numbers put you at risk for developing heart disease and the risk of stroke. You also have to be concerned about the potential side effects of high blood pressure medications, side effects such as dizziness, anxiety, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, headaches and erectile dysfunction.
The good news is, lifestyle plays a big role in both the development and treatment of hypertension. Many people find they can bring down their numbers using natural strategies, allowing them to forgo the need for medication.
Here are 5 natural ways to manage your high blood pressure.
- Lose Weight
Here’s a fact: your blood pressure tends to go up as your weight goes up. This is especially true for people (mostly men) who carry their extra weight around their waistline. Carrying too much weight around your waist can put you at greater risk of high blood pressure.
Being overweight can also cause a condition known as sleep apnea. This is where your breathing becomes disrupted while you sleep. Sleep apnea further raises your blood pressure.
Losing weight is one of the most effective ways you can lower your blood pressure naturally. And it doesn’t take that much to make a big difference. Medical experts have stated that losing about two pounds can bring down your blood pressure by about 1 mm Hg.
- Exercise Regularly
Whether you are overweight or slender, exercise is also key in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. And, just like with losing weight, it doesn’t take much to make a big impact. Exercising just 30 minutes a day can lower your blood pressure by almost 8 mm Hg.
Having said this, it’s also important to point out the obvious: consistency is key. You can’t expect to exercise for 30 minutes every day for one month and then stop. When your numbers reach healthy levels, that is NOT the time to quit exercising or your blood pressure will most likely go right back up again.
Aerobic exercises are great for getting your numbers down. Consider exercises like:
You may also want to try high-intensity interval training (HIIT). These exercises involve alternating short bursts of intense activity with recovery periods. An example would be sprinting full out for 30 seconds, and then walking for 1 minute, sprint, walk, sprint, walk.
Strength training is also an effective way at reducing your blood pressure. Try and strength train three times a week.
Before starting any exercise program, be sure to speak with your doctor first.
- Clean Up Your Diet
Cutting out all junk and processed foods is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health. You have probably heard that too much salt is bad for you with hypertension. Most of the salt in your diet comes from processed foods – once you cut those out, you automatically cut way down on your sodium intake.
But what you may not know is that salt is actually NOT the number one culprit behind hypertension. It is, in fact, a completely different white substance. Can you guess what that white substance is?
If you said sugar, you are absolutely correct.
Excess sugar, not salt, is far more likely to be the cause of high blood pressure. But guess what? By cutting out all of that processed junk “food,” you will also eliminate most of the refined sugars in your diet.
But be warned. Many “health foods” like cereals and yogurts contain just as much sugar as soda and candy bars. So always read labels, and more importantly, stick to eating meats, eggs, cheese, and some fruits and vegetables to be safe.
- Up Your Potassium Intake
Potassium is important for muscle function. It also is great for lowering blood pressure naturally. Not only can potassium lessen the effects of sodium on blood pressure, but it can also relax artery walls, which also lowers blood pressure.
Potassium is in many foods such as bananas, beets, spinach and beef. Talk to your doctor about the potassium level that’s best for you.
- Reduce Stress
Chronic stress is a contributing factor of high blood pressure, so it’s important that you eliminate as much stress as possible. Now, you may be thinking, “easier said than done.”
But here’s the thing, your health is worth it. Even if it’s not so easy. Take some time to look around your life and see what is working and what isn’t. If there are toxic relationships in your life, work toward either fixing them, or if they are beyond fixing, think very seriously about ending them.
If your finances are causing you stress, work with someone to get them in order. Come up with a budgeting plan and stick to it.
If there is someone at work that is giving you trouble, try to dialogue with them and find solutions. If they aren’t amenable to that idea, then get into the habit of seeing what you like about them instead of what you don’t.
If you are someone that always says yes and overexerts yourself, learn how to say no and stick to it. Put your own needs first for once and make your health a priority.
For all of those things in your life that are causing you stress that you can’t do much about, try and meditate each day, do yoga, and/or take long walks in nature to help you deal with stress and lessen the effects of it.
High blood pressure isn’t to be messed around with. It’s important that you manage your blood pressure so you don’t develop heart disease or become a likely candidate for a stroke. If you follow these five tips, you should be able to bring your numbers down without need for medication.
Now you may be thinking that it is impossible to bring down your numbers permanently using natural therapies…
What if I told you there are people who have been able to throw away their blood pressure medication by following a simple protocol? If you’d like to do the same, then pick up a copy of The Blood Pressure Solution and find out how to reverse your high blood pressure for good!