Much like diabetes, managing blood pressure is something you have to commit for life. Apart from BP medication, one can introduce some healthy lifestyle changes that can naturally lower your blood pressure and keep your heart healthy as well. Uncontrolled blood pressure can affect your heart and lead to stroke, heart failure, damage to kidneys among a host of illnesses. Eating a diet low in sodium and high on potassium can help control your blood pressure to a large extent. Apart from that regular exercise can make your heart stronger which will help it pump more blood with ease, this lowering blood pressure. (Also read: Blood pressure basics: How to measure BP at home, ideal range, risks of high BP)
“Biggest factors of blood pressure are diet and stress, and also genetics plays a role in it. You don’t have to embark on a major life overhaul to make a difference in your blood pressure. Small changes can make a big difference in your blood pressure numbers. The risk of heart disease can be prevented with some control over yourself. Controlling blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle might prevent, delay or reduce the need for medication,” says nutritionist and wellness expert Karishma Shah in her recent Instagram post.
Shah also recommends some natural ways to keep your blood pressure in check
1. Reduce sugar
It can help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol level. High sugar intake raises insulin levels, which in turn activates the sympathetic nervous system. This leads to an increase in blood pressure and heart rate.
2. Lose extra pounds and watch your waistline
Blood pressure often goes up as weight increases. Being overweight can also cause disrupted breathing while you sleep (sleep apnea) which further raises blood pressure.
3. Exercise regularly
Regular physical activity can lower high blood pressure by about 5 to 8mm Hg. It’s important to keep exercising to stop blood pressure from rising again. As a general goal aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day.
4. Eat a healthy diet
Eating a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and low in saturated fat and cholesterol can lower high blood pressure by up to 11 mm Hg.
5. Quit smoking
Smoking increases blood pressure. Stopping smoking helps lower blood pressure. It can also reduce the risk of heart disease and improve overall health, possibly leading to a longer life.
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