If you suffer from high blood pressure, you may wonder if medication is necessary to lower the levels. Lifestyle plays an important role in the treatment of high blood pressure. Controlling blood pressure through a healthy lifestyle can prevent, delay or reduce the need for medication. Here are the main lifestyle changes that lower blood pressure, without medication.
Table of Contents
- 1. lose excess pounds
- 2. exercise regularly
- 3. eat a healthy diet
- 4. reduce salt (sodium) in your diet
- 5.Lower blood pressure without medication: Limit alcohol
- 6. stop smoking
- 7. get enough sleep
- 8. lower blood pressure without medication: reduce stress
- 9. take natural supplements
- 10. monitor your blood pressure at home
1. lose extra pounds
Blood pressure often increases with weight. Excess weight can also lead to breathing pauses during sleep (sleep apnea), which further raises blood pressure. Weight loss is one of the most effective lifestyle changes for controlling blood pressure. If you are overweight or suffer from obesity, even a small amount of weight loss can help lower blood pressure. In general, blood pressure can drop about 1 millimeter of mercury (mm Hg) for every kilogram of weight lost. Waist size is also important. Too much weight around the waist can increase the risk of high blood pressure.
Men are at risk if their waist circumference is more than 102 centimeters.
Women are at risk if their waist circumference is more than 89 centimeters.
These values vary by ethnic group. Check with your health care provider for a healthy waist circumference for you.
2. exercise regularly
Regular exercise can lower high blood pressure by about 5 to 8 mm Hg. To prevent blood pressure from rising again, it is important to exercise regularly. As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily. Exercise can also help prevent elevated blood pressure from becoming high blood pressure (hypertension). For people with hypertension, regular physical activity can lower blood pressure to safer levels.
Some examples of aerobic exercise that can help lower blood pressure include walking, jogging, biking, swimming, or dancing. Strength training can also help lower blood pressure. Try to do strength training at least two days a week. Talk to your health care provider about developing an exercise program.
3. eat a healthy diet
A diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products and low in saturated fat and cholesterol can lower high blood pressure by up to 11 mm Hg. Examples of diet plans that can help control blood pressure include the DASH diet ( Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension ) and the Mediterranean diet.
Potassium in the diet can mitigate the effects of salt (sodium) on blood pressure. The best sources of potassium are foods, such as fruits and vegetables, rather than supplements. Aim for 3,500 to 5,000 mg per day, which could lower blood pressure by 4 to 5 mm Hg. Ask your doctor how much potassium you should be taking.
4. Reduce salt (sodium) in your diet.
Even a small reduction in dietary sodium can improve heart health and reduce high blood pressure by about 5 to 6 mm Hg. The effect of sodium intake on blood pressure varies among different groups of people. In general, sodium intake should be limited to 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day or less. However, for most adults, a lower sodium intake – 1,500 mg per day or less – is ideal.
Here’s how to reduce sodium in your diet:
- Read food labels. Look for low-sodium versions of foods and beverages.
- Eat fewer processed foods. Only a small amount of sodium occurs naturally in foods. Most sodium is added during processing.
- Do not add salt. Use herbs or spices to flavor your food.
- Cook. Cooking helps you control the amount of sodium in foods.
5.Lower blood pressure without medication: Limit alcohol
Limiting alcohol consumption to less than one drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men can lower blood pressure by about 4 mm Hg. However, drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure by several points. It can also reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.
6. stop smoking
How to lower blood pressure without medication? By living a healthy life, first and foremost. Smoking increases blood pressure. Quitting smoking helps lower blood pressure. It can also reduce the risk of heart disease and improve overall health, possibly leading to a longer life.
7. get enough sleep
Poor sleep quality – less than six hours of sleep per night for several weeks – can lead to high blood pressure. A number of problems can interfere with sleep, including sleep apnea , restless leg syndrome and general insomnia. Talk to your doctor if you have frequent sleep problems. Identifying and treating the cause may help improve sleep. However, if you don’t have sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome, follow these simple tips to find restful sleep.
- Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time each day. Try to stick to the same schedule during the week and on weekends.
- Create a restful place. This means the sleeping place should be cool, quiet, and dark. Do something relaxing in the hour before bedtime. This can include a warm bath or relaxation exercises. Avoid bright light, such as from a television or computer screen.
- Be mindful of what you eat and drink. Don’t go to bed hungry or stuffed. Avoid large meals just before bedtime. You should also limit or avoid nicotine, caffeine and alcohol just before bed.
- Limit naps. For those who find napping during the day helpful, limiting naps to 30 minutes might promote nighttime sleep.
8. lower blood pressure without medication: reduce stress.
Long-term (chronic) emotional stress can contribute to high blood pressure. More research needs to be done on the effects of stress reduction techniques to find out if they can lower blood pressure. However, it can’t hurt to figure out what causes stress, such as work, family, finances, or illness, and find ways to reduce it.
Try the following:
- Don’t try to do too much. Plan your day and focus on your priorities. Learn to say no. Take enough time to do what needs to be done.
- Focus on problems you can control and make plans to solve them. If there are problems at work, talk to a supervisor. If there are conflicts with your children or spouse, find ways to resolve them.
- If possible, avoid people who cause stress.
- Take time each day to sit quietly and breathe deeply. Make time for enjoyable activities or hobbies , such as walking, cooking, or volunteering.
- Practice gratitude. Gratitude toward others can help relieve stress.
9. take natural supplements
Some natural supplements can also help lower blood pressure. Here are some of the main supplements for which there is evidence:
- Aged garlic extract: Researchers have successfully used aged garlic extract as a stand-alone treatment and along with conventional therapies to lower blood pressure.
- Berberine: Although further research is needed, some studies have suggested that berberine may help lower blood pressure.
- Whey protein: A 2016 study found that whey protein improved blood pressure and blood vessel function in 38 participants.
- Fish oil: Fish oil has long been credited with improving heart health and could especially benefit people with high blood pressure.
- Hibiscus: Hibiscus flowers make a tasty tea. They are rich in anthocyanins and polyphenols, which are good for your heart and lower blood pressure naturally without medication.
10. Monitor your blood pressure at home.
Home monitoring can help you keep track of your blood pressure. This can help you make sure your medications and lifestyle changes are effective. Home blood pressure monitors are widely available over the counter. Talk to your health care provider about home blood pressure monitoring before you start. Regular visits to your doctor are also critical to controlling your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is well controlled, ask your doctor how often you need to check it.