If you have just been informed by your doctor that you have high blood pressure, then you have two alternatives before you. You can take medication to lower your blood pressure, or you can make lifestyle changes.
Many people worry about consuming medications for high blood pressure as all the medications have side effects. This said, even if you take medication, you would still need to incorporate certain changes in your lifestyle. So, here is a guide to lowering high blood pressure using lifestyle changes in conjunction with medication. Alternatively, you can use these lifestyle changes to lower your blood pressure without resorting to medication.
One of the major causes of high blood pressure is obesity. It is recommended that you do regular exercise to reduce your waistline. It is said that by losing around ten pounds, it can have a favor effect on blood pressure. Also, it has been seen that weight loss makes the medication for blood pressure more effective. However, allow your doctor to inform you what the ideal weight should be for your height and build.
It is imperative that you keep aside half an hour to one hour nearly everyday to do exercise. By doing regular exercise, you will help your blood pressure to come down by around 4 mmHg to 9 mmHg. In case you have been leading a sedentary life, then it will take a few weeks to see the results from your exercise routine. In case the doctor restricts strenuous exercise, he or she will recommend light exercise right walking or light strength training.
Eating healthy is very important for lowering high blood pressure. Your diet should include fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grain and low fat dairy products. In addition, reduce your salt intake while increasing your potassium intake.
Look for ways to reduce your sodium intake. While lessening salt is one way, you should also be looking to avoid processed foods completely. These contain high levels of sodium and can aggravate your condition further.
Take a look at how much alcohol you consume. While drinking small amounts can help lower your blood pressure to a certain extent, drinking large mounts will have the opposite effect. A woman should not consume more than a single drink in one day, while men should not be consuming more than 2 drinks in one day. If possible, stop drinking altogether as not drinking will be more beneficial for your blood pressure as well as your overall health.
If you are a smoker, then stop smoking or inhaling secondhand cigarette smoke. Not only does it have an adverse effect on your pressure, it is also one of the causes for lung cancer.
Learn to manage your stress by doing relaxation exercises. Stress tends to elevate blood pressure and chronic stress has a bad effect on blood pressure and overall health. Also, stop consumption of coffee and caffeine-based beverages. These drinks can raise your pressure within a short span of time.
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