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May 14 2024

10 ways to lower blood pressure without medication

May 14, 2024  /   Family Medicine  /   5-minute read

High blood pressure is a common condition that affects nearly half of all adults in the United States. While medications can help manage high blood pressure, there are also natural ways to lower blood pressure without relying on pills. We’ll explore ten natural methods that can help you lower your blood pressure and improve your overall health.

Understanding blood pressure 

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is when your blood pressure, the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels, is consistently too high.

The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure tested. Understanding your results is crucial to controlling high blood pressure. Your blood pressure reading has two numbers: systolic and diastolic. Systolic blood pressure (the top number) measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. Diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) measures the pressure between beats. A normal blood pressure level is less than 120/80 mmHg. 

American Heart Association Blood Pressure Categories Chart

Hypertension is often called the ‘silent killer’ as most of the time, there are no obvious symptoms. When left untreated, high blood pressure can damage the circulatory system to the point where it can contribute to heart attacks, strokes, and other health threats.

The saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” rings incredibly true when it comes to avoiding high blood pressure. Adopting healthy lifestyle modifications can significantly reduce high blood pressure and benefit individuals with and without diagnosed hypertension. Moreover, even when medication for blood pressure is prescribed, incorporating these lifestyle changes can further decrease blood pressure levels and enhance overall well-being.

  1. Exercise regularly: Regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to lower your blood pressure naturally. When you exercise, your heart gets stronger and more efficient at pumping blood. This means it doesn’t have to work as hard, which helps lower your blood pressure. Plus, exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight, which is crucial for keeping your blood pressure in check.Moderate activity like brisk walking can make a big difference in your numbers. One recent study suggests one isometric exercise, the wall squat, is particularly effective. This can help lower your systolic blood pressure (the top number) by 8 mmHg. 
  1. Eat a healthy diet: What you eat plays a huge role in your blood pressure levels. A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can work wonders for your heart health and can help lower blood pressure. The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is a great place to start if you’re looking to revamp your eating habits. Lastly, avoid processed foods high in salt and sugar as much as possible. This article recommends Nine Foods to Avoid for Healthy Blood Pressure.
  1. Reduce stress: Chronic stress can take a serious toll on your blood pressure. When you’re stressed, your body releases hormones that cause your heart to beat faster and your blood vessels to narrow, which can lead to higher blood pressure readings. Finding ways to relax and de-stress is crucial for lowering blood pressure naturally. Practice mindfulness techniques such as meditation or deep breathing exercises to help reduce stress levels.
  1. Limit alcohol: Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure, so it’s important to limit your alcohol intake if you’re trying to lower your blood pressure naturally. Stick to moderate drinking guidelines, which recommend no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
  1. Get plenty of sleep: As we sleep, our blood pressure goes down. Lack of sleep can contribute to high blood pressure, so ensuring you get enough rest each night is essential for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night to support overall health and well-being.
  1. Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese puts extra strain on your heart and can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, so maintaining a healthy weight is key for lowering blood pressure naturally. The American Heart Association recommends focusing on eating a balanced diet and staying active to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  1. Cut back on caffeine: While moderate caffeine consumption is generally safe for most people, consuming too much caffeine can raise your blood pressure temporarily. If you’re trying to lower your blood pressure naturally, consider cutting back on caffeine or switching to decaffeinated options.
  1. Stay hydrated: One often overlooked connection to hypertension is dehydration. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help lower your blood pressure by keeping you hydrated and supporting proper kidney function. Aim to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water daily to stay hydrated and support overall health. Here are some tips for staying hydrated.
  1. Eat foods rich in potassium: Potassium is an important mineral that helps regulate fluid balance in the body by counteracting the negative effects of sodium and supports healthy blood pressure levels. Include potassium-rich foods such as bananas, sweet potatoes, spinach, and avocados in your diet to help lower your blood pressure naturally.
  1. Quit smoking: And finally, and importantly, if you smoke, quit. Smoking raises your blood pressure and increases your risk of developing heart disease and other serious health conditions. If you smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products, quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health and well-being.

These recommendations are about more than just the numbers on the blood pressure cuff. It’s about feeling better, having more energy, and living your best life. And when you take care of your heart, that’s exactly what happens. Don’t wait another day to start making these changes. Your heart is counting on you.

To learn more, talk to your provider. Call Welia Health at 320.679.1313 or request an appointment online.

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