There are many people around the world who suffer from high blood pressure or hypertension. Studies show that over 40 per cent of adults over the age of 25 around the world suffer from increased blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a condition where the force of the blood against the arterial wall is too high. A normal blood pressure reading is 120/80 mm Hg.
Remedies for high blood pressure
Commonly known as ‘the silent killer’, high blood pressure is not something that can be taken lightly. In many cases, it can often lead to heart disease or even a stroke. The symptoms of high blood pressure are not always visible, hence it is important to get a preventive health checkup at least once a year to identify the problem. But the good news is that there are a number of things one can do to reduce their blood pressure with no medication.
- Get some exercise
It is no secret that getting enough exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health, but if you suffer from high blood pressure, this is a necessity. Regular exercise can get your heart beating faster which can lower the pressure on your arteries. Studies show that even 30 minutes of exercise a day can help reduce BP levels.
- Consume potassium-rich foods
Potassium is a mineral that is essential for our body as it has numerous benefits such as reduced risk of stroke, lower risk of kidney stones and lower blood pressure. It is recommended that you get a potassium intake of at least 90 mmol/day. However, many modern diets have increased sodium intake and decreased potassium intake. This can lead to several health problems since sodium increases the pressure on the blood vessels. The best way to get more potassium and less sodium in your diet are by eating fewer processed foods. Potassium-rich foods include vegetables, fruits, dairy and nuts.
- Reduce the amount of caffeine
Caffeine is known to cause an instant boost to your heart rate and numerous studies show that consuming caffeine regularly can have a lasting effect on your blood pressure. However, the role that caffeine plays in blood pressure is still debatable. But people who don’t consume coffee regularly may find that their blood pressure spikes up when they consume it. If you find that your blood pressure increases by 5 to 10 mg Hg 30 minutes after you drink coffee, your blood pressure may be sensitive to caffeine.
- Lose weight
Your weight and blood pressure are directly correlated to each other. When you gain weight, it affects your breathing while sleeping causing your blood pressure to go up. A study conducted in 2003 showed that losing even 4.5 kgs could have a significant effect on blood pressure. Additionally, carrying too much fat around your waistline can increase your risk of high blood pressure. Losing weight is most effective when it is combined with exercise as this makes it easier for your blood vessels to expand and contract, allowing the heart to pump blood better.
- Manage your stress
Stress is known to have the greatest effect on your blood pressure. When you experience stress, your body enters a flight or fight mode. This automatically increases your heart rate and your blood pressure as your heart is now pumping blood at an abnormal rate.
Concurrently, stress also leads to other health issues such as binge eating, alcoholism, anxiety or depression. You should take some time to think about what is causing your stress and find ways to reduce them. If you are unable to eliminate stress completely, you should identify ways to deal with them. Some effective ways include:
- Focus on the issues that you can control and tackle them first. Taking care of these issues will give you the confidence to handle bigger problems.
- Avoid elements in your life that cause stress like rush-hour traffic. You can talk to your supervisor about leaving your work around these hours to avoid traffic.
- You can do an activity that helps you relax; this can be dancing or playing a sport. Alternatively, you can meditate and listen to soothing music.
High blood pressure is not something that can be taken lightly and active measures should be taken to reduce the BP rate. If you are able to keep it under control using the steps listed above, you can reduce or delay the need for medication. A master health checkup is essential to ensure that you are in the pink of health. Check out Neuberg Diagnostics comprehensive master health check-up.