It is relatively easier to manage your blood pressure if you stick to a routine and consume a healthy diet. Working with a health care professional you can devise a plan to manage hypertension through lifestyle changes and necessary medication.
Healthy habits that contribute to lower blood pressure
Developing healthy habits is the best way to get your blood pressure down and keep it there. Additionally, a few lifestyle changes could mean that you don’t need medication to bring your blood pressure down either providing the ultimate solution. These seven habits below will have the biggest impact:
- Regular physical activity that gets your blood pumping. Physical activity is great for your overall wellbeing as it releases endorphins and can help rid your body of toxins through sweating. Additionally, it improves your heart health helping to lower your blood pressure.
- A healthy diet rich in vegetables, fruits, grains and good fats such as avocado, olive oil and nuts. These foods are extremely filling and are full of good vitamins and minerals.
- Limit foods that are high in sugar and contain unhealthy fats. Look to cut out processed foods which are often high is sugar and salt.
- Reduce your alcohol intake.
- Weight loss – this will come if you do the above steps. A healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables, reduced sugar and salt intake and a diet that involves less alcohol will all help you to lose weight putting less stress on your heart and lowering your blood pressure. This all will make physical activity easier and more enjoyable having a cyclical effect.
- Manage your stress – high levels of cortisol can lead to weight gain so managing your stress will help to reduce this and your blood pressure. Try meditation or yoga on a weekly basis.
- Quitting smoking, if you smoke, will also have a strong impact on your blood pressure. It will help to improve your overall health also making it easier for your heart and lungs to pump.
Additional medications to help
Medications to control blood pressure are some of the best in the medical world with limited side effects and strong results. However, it is important to stress that these should be taken in conjunction with completing the seven healthy habits outlined above.
Some examples of medications to manage blood pressure include;
- Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
- Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB)
- Calcium channel blockers
- Alpha blockers
- Beta blockers
Work with your care team and health care provider to determine the best medicine for you. By controlling your blood pressure you are reducing your risk of a heart attack and stroke which ultimately reduces your risk of death. Whilst the medications do have minimal side effects, there are a few things to be aware of, such as dizziness and dry mouth, when taking the medication. Your health care professional will help to tailor your treatment based on your needs and concerns and help you to manage any of the potential side effects dependent on the medication you are taking.
David Smith was born and raised in Calgary Alberta and loves to share his passion for health and fitness with others. Apart from running his own podcast, which uploads weekly shows that covers current health trends, he spends his time canoeing and backpacking. David recently spent a summer working at the CFIA as a health supplement reviewer. In regards to academics, David studied kinesiology at Guelph University.