Often people suffering from hypertension require several medications to help control their blood pressure. However, it can also be ratcheted down with lifestyle changes which may even eliminate the need of taking medications. It is important for anyone with hypertension to work alongside their primary care physician to find ways to help lower their blood pressure without having to turn to pharmacologic agents.
Here are 4 natural ways to help lower your blood pressure:
1. Get Plenty of Exercise
Even with a mere thirty minutes of exercise a day, most days out of the week you are able to significantly bring down your blood pressure. If you have lived a sedentary life, to reduce the top number which is your systolic blood pressure but three, even five points and the bottom number by two to even three points, try aerobic exercise.
Studies have actually shown that when people get moving, oftentimes they are able to reduce a number of hypertension medications that they have been taking. It is important to pick something that you enjoy so that you will not become frustrated and quit. Some fun options are walking, swimming, running, cycling, etc.
2. Increase your Potassium Intake
The benefits of potassium are not something that many people are aware of, they know that eating excess amounts of salt can raise blood pressure, yet they do not know that potassium counters the ill effects of sodium. It is a mineral which most people do not get enough of.
Those suffering from hypertension could especially benefit from increasing the amount of potassium in their diets. An adult should get a minimum of 4.700 mg a day. Some great sources of potassium are:
• A baked potato with skin provides 738 mg of potassium
• One banana provides 422 mg of potassium
• 8 ounces of Nonfat or low-fat yogurt provides 531-579 mg of potassium
• A cup of orange juice provides 496 mg of potassium
3. Cut Back on Salt
Someone with normal blood pressure, blood pressure that is moderately high, and full -fledged hypertension are able to significantly reduce their blood pressure simply by cutting back on their salt intake. It is recommended that those with hypertension limit the amount of salt they consume to less than 600 mg. (1,500 mg.) of sodium a day. Most of the sodium that we consume comes from processed foods. This is why it is best to opt for whole foods and when you do purchase foods with nutrition labels, make sure to check for sodium content.
4. Don´t Smoke
People who smoke have a higher risk of suffering from hypertension. However, although temporary spikes in blood pressure can be caused by the tobacco and nicotine found in cigarettes, it is not believed that smoking in itself can cause chronic hypertension. However, factors which are associated with smoking such as lack of exercise and heavy drinking can. That being said, you can help to lower your blood pressure a bit by not smoking, not to mention the countless other benefits associated with quitting.
These four simple yet effective tips can help you to naturally lower your blood pressure causing you to feel happy and healthy.