In our body, the blood vessels that carry blood from heart to the rest of the body are called arteries. When blood moves through these arteries, it creates pressure on the walls of these. This pressure is known as blood pressure. When blood moves at a higher pressure than normal, it is called as high blood pressure. Normal blood pressure is 120/80 or a bit less than this. But when it is around 140/90 or above, it is clinically known as high blood pressure or hypertension. High blood pressure or hypertension is a common health problem, and in the USA, many people suffer form this health problem. Since hypertension is a life style related disease, it can be controlled by making few changes in our life style. People generally rely on medication for controlling their blood pressure but actually blood pressure can be controlled with few changes in diet and exercise. Read on.
Complexity Level: Moderate
Time required: 15 days
- Home based blood pressure monitoring kit
- Olive oil
1: Avoid common salt:
- Sodium found in common salt causes our bodies to retain fluid. This fluid retention makes your blood have more fluid volume. When your blood has more volume, your heart needs to pump harder to move that extra voluminous blood through your body.
- This causes blood pressure to rise up. Sodium is found not only in common salt but also in processesd and canned foods. On daily basis, 1100 to 1500 milligrams is the right amount of sodium consumption. But, an average American’s sodium consumption is as high as 5,000 milligrams.
2: Say no to smoking:
- Smoking makes your blood pressure rise up owing to the stimulants in a cigarette. Cigarette smoking not only causes hypertension it makes our heart and lungs also seriously ill, something as worst as lung cancer.
3: Lose extra kilos:
- When you carry extra weight, your heart has to work extra. Think of the times when you had carried that big bag while traveling and after a while how tired you felt? In the same way, your body has to work harder and extra for the extra weight that you carry. By losing that extra weight, your heart will not have to work extra and this will lower down your blood pressure.
4: Avoid drugs and alcohol:
- Excessive use of drugs and alcohol is bad for our vital temperature including heart and lungs. When our heart and lungs get damaged they can cause fluid retention in body causing high blood pressure.
5: Learn to relax:
- When we are under temporary stress, our blood pressure rises up. If you have hypertension or you are overweight, this blood pressure goes further up. This happens because your adrenal gland releases stress hormones which help to cause your cardiovascular system work harder. By relaxing, you can avoid stress and hypertension.
6: Exercise daily:
- Daily walks help in suppressing hypertension so walk daily for at least 30 minutes a day. If you don’t want to go out, walk on treadmill but walk daily.
7: Meditate daily:
- Mindful breathing or slow breathing has significant effect on lowering blood pressure.
8: Natural remedies:
- Olive oil, garlic and few herbs are very effective in lowering blood pressure. You can check with your doctor about these natural remedies.
Frequently asked questions:
How can I reduce my salt intake to lower my blood pressure?
For lowering your blood pressure, stop using common salt. Instead use rock salt. Rock salt does not have sodium like common salt while it has potassium that does not increase blood pressure. Go for regular walks and try to do some deep breathing exercises daily for 20 minutes, which will regulate your blood pressure along with many other health benefits.
- Track your blood pressure by using a home based blood pressure monitoring kit.
- Eat potassium rich food like bananas, tomatoes, oranges and dried fruits. Potassium helps in lowering blood pressure.
Things to watch out for:
- Avoid fat laden foods.
- Avoid sodium in all forms whether in canned foods, pickles, chips or other such products.