10 Ways to Control High Blood Pressure at Home
Your heart works hard to pump blood through your body. Now imagine your heart had to pump twice as hard every time it beat. That would be pretty tiring, right?
Well, that’s what happens when you’re one in three Americans with high blood pressure. Your heart works harder than normal to push blood through your veins and arteries.
Fortunately, you can do something to help lower your blood pressure and give your heart a break. In this article, we’ll explore some ways to control high blood pressure at home.
Maintain a healthy diet
One way to manage high blood pressure at home is by eating healthy food. It turns out, it’s also one of the best things you can do for your heart. Your blood pressure number creeps higher when you eat sodium-rich and saturated and trans fat foods. So, it’s important to limit these foods in your diet.
Instead, focus on eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. These foods are not just good for your heart, but they can also help lower your blood pressure.
Get regular exercise
Regular exercise is another excellent way to manage high blood pressure. Exercise protects your heart by making it stronger and more efficient at pumping blood. It also helps keep your arteries healthy and clear of plaque buildup.
Exercise aids you in maintaining a healthy weight, and it reduces stress levels, too.
Aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week. If you’ve just begun, you can break this up into shorter periods throughout the day.
If you smoke, quit. Smoking damages your blood vessels and makes your heart work harder to pump blood. It puts a lot of strain on your heart, leading to high blood pressure.
Drinking too much alcohol can also bump up your blood pressure. Aim to limit yourself to two drinks max per day if you’re a man and one drink max per day if you’re a woman.
Manage stress levels
Your blood pressure may spike with stress, too. So if you’re feeling stressed, try some relaxation techniques, like yoga or deep breathing.
Watch your salt intake
If you eat too much salt, your body retains water and increases blood pressure. Aim to eat no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day (about a teaspoon of salt).
Maintain a healthy weight
Your heart may be put under strain if you are carrying extra weight. Weighing too much also leads to high blood pressure. If you’re carrying extra weight, you and your doctor should discuss ways to lose weight safely to lessen your hypertension risk.
Scale back those coffee breaks
Drinking more than four cups of coffee a day has been linked with higher blood pressure. If you can’t kick your caffeine habit, try to limit yourself to two cups per day.
Put potassium-rich foods on your plate
Potassium helps to balance sodium in your body and can reduce the effects of salt on blood pressure. Good sources of potassium include leafy greens, bananas, potatoes, avocados and kidney beans.
Enjoy some dark chocolate
Studies already show that dark chocolate improves heart health, and further ones suggest it can also help lower blood pressure.
Aim for a square or two of dark chocolate a day. Just be mindful of your calorie intake if you are trying to lose weight.
High blood pressure treatment in Raleigh and the Triangle
Home treatment is often an important part of your high blood pressure care. If you’re looking for additional ways to manage high blood pressure at home, many options are available.
Talk to your doctor about which methods may work well for you. You and your doctor should work together to create a treatment plan to keep your blood pressure in check. You can make lifestyle changes and use medicines (if necessary) to ensure your blood pressure stays in a healthy range.
Making lifestyle changes is often the first step in managing hypertension. However, these lifestyle changes may not be enough to lower your blood pressure. If that’s your case, your doctor may also recommend medications.
Making changes to your lifestyle can be difficult. It may even be overwhelming at first. But small steps lead to big changes, and managing your blood pressure will keep your heart pumping for many years into the future.
The primary care and lab testing services at Personalized Hematology-Oncology of Wake Forest can help keep your blood pressure in check. Make an appointment today to learn more.