Seven ways to lower your blood pressure

High blood pressure can be fatal if left unattended to. With a healthy lifestyle, a well-balanced diet and a good exercise regime, you can control your blood pressure levels.

Lose Excess Weight
Blood pressure is directly related to weight gain. It, therefore, makes weight loss one of the most efficient controllers of blood pressure. At the same time, it is essential to keep your waistline in check. A larger waistline leaves you at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure problems. A healthier diet that comprises of green leafy vegetables, soy and potatoes will help in shedding the excess weight.

Exercise
Exercise is extremely important to remain fit and healthy. Regularly exercising for 30 to 60 minutes a day can lower your blood pressure by 4 to 9 mm of mercury. In this case, consistency is key and there are risks of higher blood pressure if you stop exercising. The best kind of exercises are swimming, jogging, cycling and even strength training.

Lower Your Sodium Intake
Sodium intake needs to be carefully monitored. The AHA suggests limiting sodium intake to 1500 mg per day. A higher sodium or salt intake leads to fluid retention which further results in a steep rise in blood pressure. To reduce sodium intake, try avoiding salt whenever possible. Always read food labels and try using alternatives that are low in sodium.

Give Up Smoking
The nicotine in cigarettes raises your blood pressure as well as your heart rate temporarily. If you are a heavy smoker, it can keep your blood pressure constantly elevated. It is therefore essential that you limit your smoking to the bare minimum or quit cold turkey.

Lower Your Stress Levels
When you are under stress, your body produces a sudden surge of hormones. These hormones make your heart beat faster and cause your blood vessels to narrow. This increases your blood pressure temporarily and therefore, it is important to lower stress levels by balancing work and rest. It is also important to know what triggers your stress and avoid it whenever possible.

Ditch The Coffee
A sudden increase in your caffeine consumption could be causing higher blood pressure. It affects different people differently. Reducing your caffeine intake through coffee or caffeinated beverages will directly help in lowering your blood pressure in the long run. Switching to decaffeinated coffee has been proven advantageous in the long run for patients susceptible to high blood pressure.

Lower Your Alcohol Intake
Drinking a lot of alcohol is responsible for raising your blood pressure levels. Although in small amounts, alcohol has been proven to be beneficial for the heart, repeated binge drinking can raise blood pressure to unhealthy levels. It is necessary to monitor your alcohol intake and not drink more than 3 drinks in one sitting. Alcohol further contributes to weight gain in the long term. It could also lead to the ineffectiveness of your blood pressure medicines.

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