Struggling to keep your blood pressure under control? Don’t lose heart. You are not alone. Besides, the good news is that you can manage it with the following simple tips:
Adopt a healthy diet
It is best to consume fresh, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole cereals and low-fat dairy products like milk, curd etc. Since blood pressure is directly related to the condition of the heart, it is advised to follow a heart-friendly diet. Avoid processed, oily, carbohydrates and foods high in sugar content. Including protein-rich foods like lentils, dals and nuts is also helpful. Doctors advise increasing potassium intake. Go bananas! Not really! Bananas are a low-cost source of potassium. Potassium controls fluid balance in the body and relaxes the blood vessels. This, in turn, reduces blood pressure.
Get moving! This is the surest way to reduce blood pressure. You can choose a favourite sport or activity like swimming, biking, running, dancing or even simply walking. Being overweight can put you at a greater risk of developing high BP. Daily physical activity of at least 30 minutes can help shed weight. Shed those excess kilos and befriend your heart! Stress is another strain on the heart. Relaxation of the mind helps improve the BP levels. If you’re unable to perform the intense physical workout, you can also take up yoga or meditation. Regular exercise and meditation are great stress busters!
Cut back on sodium and drinking
Salt and alcohol tend to increase blood pressure. Moderation is the key. Often, packaged foods like chips have excess salt content. Watch what you eat and eat with care! Another good idea would be to remove the salt shakers from the table. After all, out of sight, out of mind! This way, you can easily regulate sodium intake. Alcohol is a big no-no for those with high BP. Instead, better go for natural, healthier drinks like lemonade, buttermilk or coconut water.
Sleep is a natural remedy for most troubles – mental or physical. You easily forget the day’s worries, once you fall asleep. People who are unable to sleep for a minimum of five hours each night are prone to high blood pressure in the long run. You can adopt good sleep practices like following a regular sleep schedule, switching off the mobile and TV before bedtime, relaxing at night and avoiding caffeine after evening. By following these steps and making the bedroom comfortable for sleep, you can get sound sleep.
Smoking is harmful to the heart. Cigarette companies, themselves, issue a warning about the ill-effects of smoking. So much so that even, passive smoking which is inhaling the cigarette smoke is also dangerous for your health. Smokers are at high risk of suffering from high BP and developing blood clots.
High blood pressure is a silent killer, often with no symptoms. It is amongst the leading cause of heart attacks and stroke. With the above lifestyle and diet changes, you can naturally control high BP. Eat, live and stay healthy to control your BP!