According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 75 million American adults have high blood pressure or hypertension.
What they found to be more alarming is the fact that 1 out of every 3 adults in the U.S. had this condition. Furthermore, only about 54% of adults suffering from high blood pressure have their condition under control.
If you suffer from high blood pressure, it’s about time you get started getting it under control as having this condition may result to some serious health repercussions. If left untreated, hypertension increases your risks for a stroke, heart attack, heart failure and even damage to your kidneys.
In fact, according to WebMD, heart disease and stroke are first and third leading causes of death in the United States.
One thing with high blood pressure is that, these days, treatment is not limited to medication. Integrating lifestyle changes to your everyday life have been scientifically proven to help reduce high blood pressure.
If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, keep in mind that there are certain things that you can do starting now to fight this unhealthy condition and maybe even eliminate the need for medication.
Below are 8 best ways to control your high blood pressure.
8. Reduce Your Stress
Chronic stress is an important contributor to high blood pressure. Occasional stress also can contribute to high blood pressure if you react to stress by eating unhealthy food, drinking alcohol or smoking. Take some time to think about what causes you to feel stressed, such as work, family, finances or illness. Once you know what’s causing your stress, consider how you can eliminate or reduce stress.
7. Cut Back On Caffeine
The role caffeine plays in blood pressure is still debated. Caffeine can raise blood pressure by as much as 10 mm Hg in people who rarely consume it, but there is little to no strong effect on blood pressure in habitual coffee drinkers. Although the effects of chronic caffeine ingestion on blood pressure aren’t clear, the possibility of a slight increase in blood pressure exists.
6. Quit Smoking
Each cigarette you smoke increases your blood pressure for many minutes after you finish. Quitting smoking helps your blood pressure return to normal. People who quit smoking, regardless of age, have substantial increases in life expectancy.
5. Limit The Amount Of Alcohol You Drink.
Alcohol can be both good and bad for your health. In small amounts, it can potentially lower your blood pressure by 2 to 4 mm Hg. But that protective effect is lost if you drink too much alcohol — generally more than one drink a day for women and for men older than age 65, or more than two a day for men age 65 and younger. One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor.
4. Reduce Sodium In Your Diet
Even a small reduction in the sodium in your diet can reduce blood pressure by 2 to 8 mm Hg. The effect of sodium intake on blood pressure varies among groups of people. In general, limit sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day or less. However, a lower sodium intake — 1,500 mg a day or less — is appropriate for people with greater salt sensitivity, including: African-Americans, anyone age 51 or older, and anyone diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.
3. Eat A Healthy Diet
Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol can lower your blood pressure by up to 14 mm Hg. This eating plan is known as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.
2. Exercise Regularly
Regular physical activity — at least 30 minutes most days of the week — can lower your blood pressure by 4 to 9 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). It’s important to be consistent because if you stop exercising, your blood pressure can rise again. If you have slightly high blood pressure (prehypertension), exercise can help you avoid developing full-blown hypertension. If you already have hypertension, regular physical activity can bring your blood pressure down to safer levels.
1. Lose Extra Pounds And Watch Your Waistline
Blood pressure often increases as weight increases. Being overweight also can cause disrupted breathing while you sleep (sleep apnea), which further raises your blood pressure. Weight loss is one of the most effective lifestyle changes for controlling blood pressure. Losing just 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) can help reduce your blood pressure. Besides shedding pounds, you generally should also keep an eye on your waistline. Carrying too much weight around your waist can put you at greater risk of high blood pressure.
Get started now. Take action as these are proven tips to help control high blood pressure and reduce the risks of health issues related to unhealthy and prolonged condition.
Thanks to the fine folks at Mayo Clinic for providing these awesome, helpful tips.