Lifestyle Changes to Lower High Blood Pressure

Are you having abdominal swelling, chest pain, abnormal heart rhythms, hazy vision, or headache? Be very careful because chances are, you are having hypertension or high blood pressure. Hypertension is a medical condition wherein the blood pressure is chronically elevated. If left untreated, it could lead to complications like heart attack, arteriosclerosis, cerebrovascular stroke, brain injury, or kidney failure. Scary, isn’t it? So if you want to stay healthy and live longer, you have to change your lifestyle to lower high blood pressure.

Weight loss

If you’re overweight, you are at higher risk of developing hypertension. As a matter of fact, blood pressure is directly proportional to weight – as your weight increases, blood pressure rises. Being overweight is also a major risk factor for heart disease. It increases your chance of developing diabetes and high blood cholesterol.

In order to lower high blood pressure, try to get a normal body mass index (BMI) of 18.5 to 24.9. BMI can be measured by dividing your weight (kg) by your height (m2). Alternatively, you can measure your BMI by multiplying your weight (lbs) by 705, then dividing it by height (in) twice. The approximate systolic blood pressure reduction is 5 – 20 points per 22 lbs. lost. Losing 10 pounds can lower your blood pressure.

DASH eating plan

Studies have found that following a healthy eating plan can lower hypertension and minimize the risk of its development. If you want to lose weight and reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure, consider following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan.

Elevated blood pressures can be lowered by an eating plan that recommends a diet high in fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy and is low in cholesterol, total fat, and saturated fat.

The DASH plan includes poultry, whole grains, nuts, and fish. This eating plan has reduced amounts of red meats, fats, sugared beverages, and sweets. The approximate systolic blood pressure reduction is 8 -14 points

Salt and sodium reduction

Choose foods that are low in salt and sodium. The present recommendation is to consume not more than 2,400 mg of sodium daily or about 6 g of table salt everyday. If you have hypertension, the doctor may recommend you to consume less salt and sodium, as latest research has found that people who consume diets of 1,500 mg of sodium can lower blood pressure.

In addition, these low-sodium and low-salt diets can also help blood pressure treatments and medicines work better. The approximate systolic blood pressure reduction is 2 – 8 points.

Exercise

You can lower high blood pressure just by being physically active. What’s more, regular exercise can also reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

Becoming physically fit doesn’t require much effort. You can start by having 30 minutes of a moderate-level physical activity (such as bicycling and brisk walking) on most days of the week. The approximate systolic blood pressure reduction is 4 – 9 points.

Moderate drinking

Too much alcohol translates into an elevated blood pressure. Too much of it can also harm your heart, brain, and liver. You should limit alcohol consumption to at most two drinks everyday for men and at most one drink everyday for women. The approximate systolic blood pressure reduction is 2 – 4 points.