Blame it on a topsy-turvy lifestyle or on work stress, high blood pressure is here to stay. Today, elevated blood pressure is one of the many common lifestyle-related conditions that people all over the globe suffer from. Hypertension is so common a disease that many of us fail to acknowledge the fact that a constantly raised blood pressure may lead to more serious conditions like heart attack, heart diseases and many other illnesses related to the heart and other organs.
But all is not lost. You can keep hypertension at bay. All you need to do is make a few lifestyle-related changes.
Reduce the Amount of Sodium in Your Diet
One of the quickest and most effective ways to bring blood pressure down is to reduce your sodium intake. We get most of our sodium through salt, also known as sodium chloride. Excessive sodium intake causes the body to hold fluid and the retained fluid causes high blood pressure. High sodium intake is also known to reduce or cease the effects of blood pressure medication. So limiting the intake of salt and other foods that contain sodium is an effective way to lower and control blood pressure.
Cut Down on Carbohydrates
Elevated blood sugar levels and insulin resistance are also related to high blood pressure. Cutting down on beverages that contain sugar and other processed foods has a positive influence on blood pressure. It also helps regulate body weight and thus controls blood pressure.
Regular exercise is a great way to lower elevated blood pressure. Maintaining an activity index of 30 – 40 minutes, 4 to 5 days a week is helpful in lowering blood pressure. Exercises are great to prevent the progress of the condition from a pre-hypertensive stage to an established condition of high blood pressure. However, if a person is already diagnosed with hypertension and has not been active for long, then it is wise to seek the advice of a doctor before starting the routine.
Cut Down on Alcohol
Excess or frequent consumption of alcohol is a risk factor for hypertensive people. It also reduces the body’s response to anti-hypertensive drugs. The best way to monitor alcohol intake is to keep a track of your drinking pattern and make changes when required. Abrupt withdrawal from alcohol may cause a sudden increase in blood pressure; it is therefore considered safe to quit gradually and take professional help if required.
Stress, caffeine and smoking may completely drain your efforts to manage blood pressure. Therefore, it is important to consider a holistic approach to manage elevated blood pressure. Make it a habit to monitor your blood pressure regularly and be active and alert.