6 Ways to Control High Blood Pressure
I have high blood pressure or hypertension. Are there any changes that I need to make in my current lifestyle that will help me keep the blood pressure under check? Well yes, lifestyle plays a huge role in treating and successfully managing the blood pressure in individuals who have it. With a healthy lifestyle, you might avoid, delay or reduce the need for medication. Hypertension can be a fatal condition as it can lead to strokes, heart attacks, heart failure and also kidney damage. So, keep an eye on that pressure.
6 ways to control high blood pressure:
Watch that waistline: Being overweight or obese (especially more fat around your waistline) increases your risk of high blood pressure. Excess weight can cause disrupted breathing thus increasing your blood pressure. Hence, the first step would be to lose weight if you are carrying the extra pounds.
Lace up your shoes: An aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week can help lower the blood pressure. Regularity is the key. The blood pressure could creep up once the exercise stops. A few of the exercises known to help in hypertension are walking, jogging, cycling and swimming. A strength training program under the supervision of an able instructor can also help in keeping the blood pressure under check. However, it is also a safe bet to first get a go ahead from your physician before starting with any exercise program.
DASH Diet: Consider following the DASH (Dietary Approach to stop Hypertension) diet which has been shown to help manage blood pressure. Research has shown that people on a DASH diet showed a reduction in their blood pressure in just 2 weeks. The DASH diet has a simple approach:
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods.
- Cut back on foods that are high insaturated fat, cholesterol, and trans fats.
- Eat more whole-grain foods, fish, poultry, and nuts.
- Limit sodium, sweets, sugary drinks, and red meats.
Cut back on the salt: Lowering the salt intake keeps the blood pressure within the normal range. Hence, no adding table salt to food and staying away from packaged and processed foods will help you in cutting down the overall salt intake. Be a smart shopper. Read the food labels when you shop.
Limit the alcohol intake: Drinking too much of alcohol can bring about an increase in the blood pressure. Limit the intake to not more than 2 drinks for men and 1 drink for women in a day.
Reduce your stress: Chronic stress is one of the most important contributor to high blood pressure. Eliminating stress completely would not be possible for anyone but managing it well or reducing it is possible.
Over and above all this form healthy relationships with family and friends. Their support can help you improve your health and also decrease your stress levels to a large extent. Take a look at your lifestyle habits and decide which ones you can change to prevent hypertension. Do not make drastic changes. Smaller changes are bound to last longer. Finally, a health care professional or a nutritionist could help you chalk out a plan to keep the pressure in check.
The write up is by Arati Shah, the Principal Nutritionist at Café Nutrition. Café Nutrition is a health and wellness company that provides services such as weight loss in Mumbai as well as online nutrition services across the globe.