Also called high blood pressure, hypertension rarely has visible symptoms. However, if untreated, it can significantly increase your risk of serious health problems like strokes and heart attacks.
According to one report, nearly half of the adults (116 Million or 47%) of Americansa have high blood pressure or hypertension. Many don’t even realize they have it.
If you have hypertension, you may wonder if medication is needed to control or reduce the numbers. However, lifestyle habits play an essential role in facilitating and treating elevated blood pressure.
Managing your hypertension with healthy living habits may prevent, reduce, or delay the need for medicinal drugs. This article will walk you through the six proven ways to reduce high blood pressure.
What Are Blood Pressure and Hypertension?
Blood pressure is the force (pressure) of blood pushing against artery walls. Arteries are blood vessels that deliver oxygen-rich blood from the heart to your entire body.
The blood pressure typically spikes and falls during the day and is measured through two numbers:
- Systolic: This number measures the force in the arteries when the heart beats.
- Diastolic: This number measures pressure on the walls of your arteries between heartbeats.
If the blood pressure reading is 120/80, it means 120 systolic blood pressure and 80 diastolic blood pressure.
Risks of Hypertension
If you or your loved one have high blood pressure, it can put additional strain on the blood vessels, heart, and other body organs like the eyes, kidneys, and brain.
Persistent hypertension can magnify your risks of potentially severe and life-threatening medical conditions, like:
- Heart attacks
- Heart disease
- Heart failure
- Aortic aneurysms
- Vascular dementia
- Kidney disease
- Peripheral artery disease
If you have hypertension, reducing your blood pressure (even with a small improvement) can help to reduce your risk of these medical conditions.
Now , let’s explore how to prevent or reduce hypertension.
6 Effective Ways to Prevent or Reduce Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
You can drastically reduce or prevent hypertension by exercising daily, eating healthy, avoiding smoking, limiting alcohol, and maintaining an appropriate weight.
Here are six effective ways (lifestyle changes) to prevent high blood pressure:
1. Eat A Balanced, Healthy Diet
Choose healthy snacks and meal options to prevent hypertension and associated complications. Eat fresh vegetables and fruits and lower your intake of sugar, saturated fat, and trans fat.
Fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, skinless fish and poultry, whole grains, nontropical vegetable oils, legumes, and nuts make up heart-healthy diet plans.
Also, consider the “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH)” eating plan that helps people reduce their high blood pressure and protects them from strokes and heart diseases.
2. Manage Weight to Prevent Obesity
Obesity can increase your risk of hypertension. Your weight plays a vital role in high blood pressure levels. If you’re overweight, consider losing some pounds; if you have average weight, avoid adding more.
According to one report, if you have a 25 or higher “Body Mass Index (BMI),” losing 10 pounds can help reduce hypertension or high blood pressure.
3. Stay Active
Physical activity and exercise helps people lose weight and reduce high blood pressure. Build habits that help you briskly move 30-minutes per day, five days per week. Bicycling or walking is an effective and relatively effortless way to achieve your goals.
In addition, you can perform moderate-intensity aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercises twice a week.
4. Don’t Smoke or Quit Smoking
Smoking causes an acute increase in blood pressure and heart rate and puts people at higher risk for strokes and heart attacks.
If you don’t smoke cigarettes, don’t start; however, if you’re a chain smoker, it’s best to quit to reduce the risks of heart disease.
Get in touch with your doctor or health-care professional. They may suggest helpful ways to quit smoking.
5. Limit Your Alcohol Consumption
Drinking a lot of alcohol can increase blood pressure. Moreover, it adds to the overall calories we consume daily, leading to weight gain.
To avoid or reduce hypertension, limit your alcohol consumption:
- For Men: 2 drinks/day
For Women: 1 drink/day
6. Get More Sleep
Getting adequate sleep is crucial to your health and an integral factor in keeping your blood vessels and heart healthy.
Poor sleep quality – affecting over 33% of Americans – is a significant risk for poor cardiovascular health.
Follow the tips to ensure better sleep at night:
- Always be consistent.
- Ensure the bedroom is dark, relaxing, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and large meals before bedtime.
- Limit daytime naps.
- Manage stress.
- Exercise daily – not before bedtime.
- Take a relaxing shower or bath.
- Get a nice, comfortable mattress, pillow, and bed.
Manage Your Blood Pressure With Imperial Family Center Medicine
Managing your blood pressure is one of the best and most effective ways to prevent hypertension and reduce the risks of heart attacks, strokes, and other severe illnesses.
Since there are several ways to manage blood pressure, knowing what best suits you can be challenging.
Consult the medical professionals and experts at Imperial Center Family Medicine to receive top-notch blood pressure management services.