What is High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure is a common condition characterized by the force of the blood against the artery walls being too high. One out of every three people in the U.S. has high blood pressure. Primary (or essential) hypertension, the most frequently experienced kind of high blood pressure, develops gradually over many years.
Because high blood pressure usually doesn’t have any symptoms, it’s important to monitor it on a regular basis. If left uncontrolled, high blood pressure increases your risk of life-threatening health problems like stroke and heart attack.
With such serious health problems it can lead to, doing everything you can to lower your high blood pressure is of critical importance. Don’t get too stressed out about it though. Not only can stress cause higher blood pressure, but there are a number of easy ways to naturally lower your blood pressure. You probably practice some of the following healthy habits already.
What High Blood Pressure Treatments Can You do at Home?
Physical inactivity is one of the most common causes of high blood pressure. Exercise, whether it’s just walking or something more vigorous, makes your heart stronger and more efficient at pumping blood.
Exercising regularly also reduces your chances of being obese. Obesity increases your blood pressure, as it forces your body to pump more blood through your body, increasing the pressure on artery walls. In this way, losing weight can naturally lower your high blood pressure.
Eat Less Sodium and Sugar
Reducing your sodium intake can significantly improve your blood pressure. Processed and prepared foods have so much salt in them, many people inadvertently eat too much of it.
There are also an increasing number of studies showing a correlation between high blood pressure and added sugar. Not just sugar, actually, but all refined-carbs, which rapidly convert to sugar upon entering your bloodstream.
To steer clear of all these, pay extra attention to nutritional fact labels, limit all processed foods, and refrain from adding extra salt and sugar to your food and drinks. A simple rule of thumb is that if it’s non-perishable, it’s generally not good for you or your blood pressure.
Consume Less Alcohol and Stimulants
Drinking multiple servings of alcohol a day can, over time, raise your blood pressure. It can also cause blood pressure medications to be ineffective. Avoid drinking more than one drink a day for women and more than two drinks a day for men.
As far as stimulants go, their direct result in increased blood pressure is still debated. What is clear, however, is that stimulants like caffeine, nicotine, ginseng, Adderall, and cocaine can all make symptoms of anxiety worse. Anxiety causes temporary but dramatic spikes in blood pressure.
Reduce Overall Stress
Closely related to anxiety is stress. Much like anxiety, high levels of stress often temporarily increase your blood pressure. Reducing stress, however, can feel easier said than done. There seems to be more and more to be stressed about every coming year.
That’s why it’s important to practice stress management. We have to be better than ever at monitoring our stress levels and giving ourselves a break when they become too high. Many of the behaviors we may practice when we’re stressed, like drinking, eating, or smoking, only exacerbate hypertension further.
For a healthy alternative, mindfulness meditation is one of the best practices out there both for reducing stress and for monitoring it with more precision. As little as five minutes of meditating every day can help lower your stress levels.
Hypertension can be a scary condition to be diagnosed with. It’s quite common though, and, thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can naturally lower your high blood pressure. Controlling your blood pressure mostly comes down to living a healthy lifestyle. Eat foods to reduce blood pressure, exercise often, and manage your stress levels.
Blue Tree Health can help you improve your diet, lose weight, and gain natural energy. Contact us today to learn about our comprehensive medical weight loss program.