If you have high blood pressure, you may be wondering if you have to take medicine to lower the numbers. But changing how you live is an important part of treating high blood pressure. By living in a healthy way, you can control your blood pressure and avoid, delay, or reduce the need for medication.
Here are ten changes you can make to your life that can help lower your blood pressure and keep it there.
1. Get rid of any extra weight and watch your waist.
Yes, being at a healthy weight is one of the most important things you can do to control high blood pressure. You can lower your blood pressure by getting rid of extra weight and keeping your waistline in good shape.
High blood pressure is more likely in people who are overweight, especially in the stomach area. This is because having too much body fat can put more stress on the heart, blood vessels, and other parts of the cardiovascular system, which can lead to high blood pressure.
You can lower your blood pressure by eating well and working out regularly. Even a small weight loss of five to ten percent can have a big effect on blood pressure levels.
The size of your waist can also be a good indicator of whether you are likely to get high blood pressure or not. When it comes to women, having a waistline of more than 35 inches and when it comes to men, having a waistline of more than 40 inches is linked to a higher risk of high blood pressure and other health problems.
In general, keeping a healthy weight and waistline with a balanced diet and regular exercise can be a good way to treat high blood pressure instead of taking medicine.
2. Exercise regularly
Keeping up with a regular exercise routine is a great way to control blood pressure without using medicine. Exercise can help you keep a healthy weight, reduce stress, and improve your heart health. All of these things can help lower your blood pressure. Exercise also helps improve the health of your heart and blood vessels.
The American Heart Association says that adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderately intense activity per week or at least 75 minutes of vigorously intense activity per week. This can be done by going fast on foot, riding a bike, swimming, or even dancing.
It is important to choose a physical activity plan that you will not only enjoy but also be able to keep up over time. This will help make sure that you can keep exercising regularly and get the benefits for your blood pressure that come with it.
Adding strength training exercises to your routine will also help you improve the tone of your muscles and make it less likely that you will get hurt. Strength training exercises include lifting weights, doing exercises using only your own body weight, and working out with resistance bands.
In general, getting regular exercise is one of the most important things you can do to control high blood pressure without taking medicine. Before starting a new fitness plan, you should talk to your primary care doctor. This is especially important if you already have a health problem or are worried about your health.
3. Stick to a healthy eating plan.
One of the best ways to lower high blood pressure that doesn't involve medicine is to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Studies have shown that a diet high in fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products can help lower blood pressure.
The DASH diet, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, is a diet that has been studied a lot and is highly recommended for lowering high blood pressure. The DASH diet focuses on eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products. It also limits foods that are high in sodium and fat.
Here are some specific dietary suggestions that can help control high blood pressure:
- Eat more fruit and vegetables, especially ones that have a lot of potassium.
- Choose whole grains instead of processed grains, which may contain a lot of sodium.
- Instead of eating red meat, try fish, chicken, lentils, and other leaner sources of protein.
- You should eat less fried foods, processed snacks, and fast food because these foods are high in fat and sodium.
- You should try to stay away from or at least drink less soda and sports drinks, which are full of sugar.
- Choose skim milk and low-fat yogurt as examples of low-fat dairy products.
- Instead of salt, try different herbs and spices to season your food.
In general, eating a balanced diet can be an effective way to treat high blood pressure instead of taking medicine. Talking to your primary care provider or a qualified dietitian is important to figure out the best nutrition plan for your needs.
4. Limit the amount of sodium (salt) you eat.
One of the most important things a person can do to lower high blood pressure without taking medicine is to eat less salt or sodium. People who are sensitive to salt are more likely to have their blood pressure go up if they eat too much salt.
The American Heart Association says that people who have high blood pressure or are at risk of getting it shouldn't eat more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, and ideally, they should eat less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day.
Here is a list of ways to cut down on the amount of salt in your diet:
- Learn to read food labels and choose items with less or no salt when you can.
- Stay away from processed foods because they often have a lot of salt in them.
- Try cooking with herbs and spices instead of salt to add flavor to your food without using salt.
- Instead of buying fruits and vegetables that have been canned or processed, which may have added salt, choose fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Before eating canned beans or vegetables, rinse them in water to reduce the amount of sodium they contain.
- Choose soy sauce and salad dressings that have less salt.
- Cut down on the number of salty snacks you eat, like chips and pretzels.
Overall, cutting down on the amount of salt you eat can be a good way to control high blood pressure instead of taking medicine. Talking to your primary care provider or a qualified dietitian is important to figure out the best nutrition plan for your needs.
5. Limit alcohol
If you want to treat high blood pressure without taking medicine, cutting back on alcohol is one of the most important things you can do. When you drink too much alcohol, your blood pressure can go up, and the drugs used to treat high blood pressure might not work as well.
The American Heart Association says that women shouldn't drink more than one drink per day and that men shouldn't drink more than two drinks per day. One drink is a glass of wine, beer, or liquor that is 12 ounces, 5 ounces, or 1.5 ounces, respectively.
Because some people may be more sensitive to how alcohol affects their blood pressure than others, it's best to talk to your doctor to find out how much alcohol you can safely drink. It's important to remember that some people may feel the effects of alcohol on their blood pressure more than others.
Also, you shouldn't binge drink if you have high blood pressure or are at risk of getting it. Binge drinking is when you have four or more drinks in a short amount of time. If you are either of these people, you should stay away from binge drinking. When you drink too much, your blood pressure can go up quickly, which can be dangerous and even kill you.
In general, reducing the amount of alcohol you drink is one of the most important things you can do to lower your blood pressure without taking medicine. Talk to your primary care provider about how much alcohol is safe and healthy for you.
6. Quit smoking
Giving up smoking is an important part of lowering high blood pressure without taking medicine. When people smoke, their blood vessels get more narrow and stiff, which can cause their blood pressure to go up.
Also, smoking can damage the lining of the blood vessels, which can lead to atherosclerosis, which is when plaque builds up in the arteries. Because of this, a person may be even more likely to get high blood pressure and other heart problems.
Quitting smoking is one of the best ways to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer, among other serious health problems.
If you are a smoker and want to stop, there are many ways to help you, such as nicotine replacement therapy, drugs that you can get with a doctor's prescription, and support groups. Your primary care doctor can give you advice and help as you try to stop smoking.
In general, quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do to control high blood pressure without taking medicine. It may also have other health benefits.
7. Get a decent night's sleep
Getting a good amount of sleep every night is an important part of dealing with high blood pressure without taking medicine. High blood pressure and other heart diseases can be made worse by not getting enough sleep or not getting good sleep.
Here are some suggestions that might help you get a better night's sleep:
- Keep a steady sleep schedule by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day. a regular sleep routine.
- Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool to help you sleep well.
- Don't use electronics in the hour or so before bed, because the blue light they give off can make it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep.
- Caffeine and alcohol shouldn't be used too much, especially in the hours before bedtime.
- Regularly work out, but try not to do anything too hard in the hours before bed.
Exercises that help calm the mind and body should be done. These include slow, deep breathing, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation.
You should see a doctor if you have trouble falling asleep or if you think you might have sleep apnea, a common illness that has been linked to high blood pressure. They might suggest a sleep study to find out if there are any underlying problems and what the best way to treat them is.
Getting a good night's sleep is not only one of the most important things you can do to treat high blood pressure without taking medicine, but it could also improve your health in many other ways.
8. Look for ways to relax.
Getting rid of stress is one of the most important things you can do to control high blood pressure without taking medicine. Stress that lasts for a long time can cause long-term high blood pressure and other heart diseases. Stress can cause a temporary rise in blood pressure, but long-term stress can cause blood pressure to stay high.
Here is a list of things you can do to relieve stress:
You can get better at relaxing by doing things like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing.
Exercise should be done on a regular basis because it can help relieve stress and improve your mood.
Get a good night's sleep, because not getting enough sleep regularly might make you feel more stressed.
You need to get better at managing your time, and you shouldn't make too many plans.
Because having friends and family around can help relieve stress, it's important to spend time with them.
Find out what's making you stressed, like problems at work or in your relationships, and figure out how to fix them.
Think about getting some kind of talk therapy or counseling. Talking with a trained mental health professional can help you learn how to deal with stress.
Overall, cutting down on stress is one of the most important things you can do to control high blood pressure without taking medicine. Reducing stress can also help in a lot of other ways that are good for your health. If you can't handle your stress on your own, you need to talk to your primary care doctor or a mental health professional to get advice and help in this area.
9. It's important to keep an eye on your blood pressure at home and check it often.
One of the most important things to do to deal with high blood pressure without taking medicine is to keep track of your blood pressure at home and make regular appointments with your primary care doctor.
Here are some things to think about if you want to try to check your blood pressure at home:
- Invest in a reliable blood pressure monitor, which you can find at most pharmacies and medical supply stores.
- Because your blood pressure can change during the day, it is important to check it at the same time every day.
- Before taking your blood pressure, you should take at least five minutes to calm down and sit still.
- Follow the instructions that came with your blood pressure monitor to make sure it gives you accurate readings.
- Keep track of your blood pressure readings and talk about them with your doctor on a regular basis.
In addition to keeping an eye on your blood pressure at home, it's important to have regular checkups with your primary care doctor. If you already have high blood pressure or are at risk of getting it, your doctor may tell you to check your blood pressure more often.
During checks, your doctor may check your blood pressure, look at your overall health, and tell you how to deal with high blood pressure without taking medicine.
Overall, keeping an eye on your blood pressure at home and going to the doctor for regular checkups are important ways to control high blood pressure without taking medicine. These steps can also help you figure out if you have any health problems before they get worse.
10. Get support
Getting help from other people is one of the most important things you can do to treat high blood pressure without taking medicine. When trying to make changes in your life, it can be helpful to have a support system that can encourage, motivate, and hold you responsible.
You can get help in the following ways:
- Work with a trained medical professional, like a doctor, registered nurse, or registered dietitian, to come up with a plan for dealing with high blood pressure without taking medicine.
- By joining a support group for people with high blood pressure, you can meet people who are going through the same things you are.
- Get help from family and friends. They can both cheer you on and hold you responsible for what you do.
- You might want to work with a health coach. This person can help guide and support you as you make changes to your life.
- Using digital tools and resources, like apps or online forums, you can connect with other people and keep track of your progress.
Getting help from other people is one of the most important things you can do to control high blood pressure without taking medicine. This support can help you make changes to your life by giving you advice and encouragement. If you are having trouble finding help on your own, talk to your primary care doctor. He or she will be able to tell you about local resources that can help.