High blood pressure can pave the way for serious health concerns such as stroke and heart disease. Fortunately you can control and lower your blood pressure by making a few changes in your daily routine. Try these easy and useful tips to bring your blood pressure under control.
Aim for a healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is a must for keeping blood pressure under control. Try to keep your body mass index between 18.5 and 24.9. A weight loss of 22 pounds can significantly lower your blood pressure by 5-20 mm Hg. Too much weight around the waste is another contributor to high blood pressure. Stay fit by reducing your waist measurement.
Eat a healthy diet
This is the first and foremost change you should make in life if you suffer from high blood pressure. Monitor your eating patterns by keeping a food diary. Include whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy products in your diet. This eating plan known as DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) can help in reducing your blood pressure by 8-14 mm Hg.
Limit sodium intake
Keep salt at a distance if you are prone to high blood pressure. Reduce your sodium intake to less than a teaspoon or 2.4 grams per day. This can drastically bring down blood pressure by 2-8 mm Hg. Other options to reduce sodium consumption is to read food labels before purchase and to cut down on processed food.
Be consistent in exercise
Lack of exercise and physical inactivity can mess up your blood pressure levels even before you know it. Make it a routine to exercise regularly for thirty minutes everyday. Blood pressure can be lowered by 4-9 mm Hg if you simply follow an exercise program. Walking, jogging, cycling or swimming are great ways to keep blood pressure under check.
Too much alcohol can raise blood pressure and reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications. More than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women can be dangerous. A drink can be defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine and 1.5 ounces of liquor. Reduce your alcohol intake and get a 2-4 mm Hg decrease in blood pressure.
Smoking not only affects your lungs but also your heart. It can also lead to an increase in blood pressure. The nicotine in cigarette smoke is harmful for the body as it constricts blood vessels thereby raising your blood pressure and heart rate, and straining your heart.