Controlling High Blood Pressure Without Medication
Controlling high blood pressure without medication is possible. If you are one of the 65 million Americans who have high blood pressure, there are non-pharmaceutical ways you can deal with it. High blood pressure is when your systolic pressure is above 140 and your diastolic pressure is above 90.
By making healthier lifestyle choices, you can avoid, delay or reduce your need for medication. Here’s how:
- Shrink your waistline and lose weight. Blood pressure normally goes up when your weight goes up. Losing even 10 lbs. can help reduce blood pressure. Losing weight also makes your medication more effective. Too much belly fat can also increase your risk. Women with waists larger than 35″ and men with waists larger than 40″ are at an increased risk of high blood pressure.
- Exercise, Exercise and more Exercise. If you exercise 30-60 minutes five times per week, you can lower your blood pressure by 4-9 mm within weeks.
- Eat a healthy diet. A diet rich in fruits, veggies and whole grains with low-fat dairy is best. If you lower your saturated fat and cholesterol, you can lower your blood pressure up to 14mm.
- Cut back on salt. Small reductions in your sodium intake can reduce your blood pressure by 2-8 mm.
- Chill out on the cocktails. more than 1 drink per day for women and more than 2 drinks per day for men can raise your blood pressure. Alcohol in small amounts can potentially lower your blood pressure by 2-4 mm.
- Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke. Nicotine can raise your blood pressure by 10 mm or more for up to an hour after you smoke.
- Limit your caffeine. Caffeine can spike your blood pressure.
- Reduce your stress level. Try some deep breathing, massage, yoga or meditation to lower your stress level. If you are anxious or stressed out, your blood pressure will increase.
- Monitor your blood pressure at home on a regular basis.
Controlling high blood pressure without medication is possible. Taking an active role in your healthcare and making healthy lifestyle choices are very important. Medications may be necessary if these lifestyle changes do not help your high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a serious and potentially dangerous condition and it is very important to know and monitor your blood pressure to keep it in a healthy range.
Eating fruit at work instead of junk food is one delicious and healthy way to keep your blood pressure and your weight under control.