Ways To Reduce High Blood Pressure – 5 Easy Steps
There are a number of ways to reduce high blood pressure, but first you need to understand exactly what high blood pressure is.
Blood pressure is the force that’s exerted on the walls of your blood vessels as the heart pumps. The reason high blood pressure is dangerous is that when your blood pressure is elevated, your heart needs to work harder to pump the blood.
1. Measure. The first step to reducing your high blood pressure is to have it checked. It sounds simple, but to begin to deal with high blood pressure you need to know where you’re starting from. Once you know your numbers and whether or not you have pre-hypertension or actually have high blood pressure, you can formulate a plan.
2. Diet. One of the most significant contributing factors in high blood pressure is your diet. Too much salt in any form, whether added at the table or cleverly hidden in almost all forms of prepackaged foods, can raise your blood pressure, especially if you are prone to hypertension to begin with. Doctors also recommend reducing your intake of red meat, substituting fish and poultry for your protein, and eating more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Little changes, done gradually, can really make a big difference.
3. Weight Control. Being overweight is another major cause of high blood pressure. By losing weight you will not only feel better, but you will help lower your blood pressure naturally. By following the diet guidelines you and your physician have discussed and agreed upon, you will be able to reduce your weight gradually and safely until you reach your target. While this is hard work, the rewards will be well worth it.
4. Alcohol. Another way to reduce high blood pressure is to limit your alcohol intake. Even moderate drinking can play a major role in raising your blood pressure. The accepted guidelines for alcohol consumption are one drink per day for a woman and two for a man. One drink is considered to be a twelve ounce beer, a five ounce glass of wine, or 1 and 1/2 ounces of liquor.
5. Smoking. Smoking is a dangerous activity for a number of reasons, and one of them is it raises your blood pressure. While very difficult to quit, the benefits of quitting are numerous. If you’ve tried to quit but have been unsuccessful, speak to your healthcare professional, or ask a friend you know that has already kicked the habit. A good way to get motivated is to buddy up with someone else who is also trying to quit.
There are many ways to reduce high blood pressure. Get started on these today and take control of your health.