Controlling High Blood Pressure with Lifestyle Changes

Anyone struggling to control their blood pressure has a lot of company. Approximately 75 million Americans have high blood pressure. That’s 1 in 3 adults.

What Exactly is Blood Pressure?

Blood rushes through the arteries just as water does through a hose. Throughout the day, the blood pressure will rise and fall. This is normal. However, when the pressure of the blood remains high for extended periods it can cause damage to the heart. This is known as hypertension.

The Importance of Controlling High Blood Pressure

Every day, high blood pressure is either the primary or contributing cause of about 1,000 deaths. Hypertension increases the risks of:

  • First heart attacks – 70% have high blood pressure
  • First strokes – 80% have high blood pressure
  • Chronic heart problems – 70% have high blood pressure
  • Kidney disease – high blood pressure is a significant risk factor

Controlling High Blood Pressure with Lifestyle Changes

Whether or not one chooses to take medication for their high blood pressure, making a number of lifestyle changes is important. Diet and lifestyle changes may be sufficient to control dangerous hypertension.

Quit Smoking

Smoking narrows and clogs arteries, the worst possible circumstance for someone with high blood pressure. It’s not easy to quit, but continuing to smoke is like playing Russian roulette with your life. It’s not worth the risk.

Lose Weight and Exercise

Higher weight and higher blood pressure are often linked. Even the loss of 10 or 15 pounds is helpful. Carrying extra pounds at the waistline is especially dangerous. Regular exercise of 30 minutes a day will help with the weight loss and is beneficial for lowering blood pressure.

  • Men should try to maintain a waist measurement below 40 inches.
  • Women are at a higher risk if their waistline measures greater than 35 inches.

Diet

A healthy, low-salt diet is essential.

  • Many find that boosting their potassium level is helpful. Avocados, sweet potatoes and spinach are foods with lots of potassium.
  • Write down everything you eat in a food diary – after a week or two, you’ll notice areas where you can cut down
  • A modest amount of alcohol will reduce blood pressure slightly, but more than one drink a day should be avoided

To learn about more natural remedies for controlling hypertension, visit The Alternative Daily. Check in frequently for the latest on health, environmental issues and keeping active at any age.